Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/76
" Fifth llat, tlie Misses Elliots, milliners.
"Garrets, a great variety of tailors and other tradesmen." '
There were no water pipes, there were no drain pipes, there were no cess-pools, and there were no covered sewers in the streets. At a fixed hour of the night all the impurities were carried down the common staircase in tubs, and emptied into the street as into a common sewer, or else, in defiance of the law, cast out of the window. " Throwing over the window" was the delicate phrase in which this vile practice was veiled. It was " an obstinate disease which had withstood all the labour of the Magistrates, Acts of Council, Dean of Guild Courts for stencheling, 2 tirlesing/ 1 and locking up windows, fines, imprisonments, and banishing the city." 4 The servants were willing to serve for lower wages in houses where this practice was winked at. It gave rise to numerous quarrels which According to the account given by the English maid in H^t,mpllry Clinker, when " the throwing over " began, " they called gardy loo to the passengers, which signifies Lord have mercy upon you." " A young English traveller, who, the first night of his arrival in Edin- burgh, was enjoying his supper, as he tells us, and good bottle of claret with a merry company in a tavern, heard, as the clock was striking ten, the beat of the city drum, the signal for the scavenging to begin. The company at once began to fumigate the room by lighting pieces of paper and throwingthem on the table. Tobacco smoking, it is clear, could not have been in fashion. As his way to his lodgings lay through one of the wyncls he was provided " with a guide who went before him, crying out all the way, Hud your Hinindc." ' The city scavengers cleansed the streets as fast as they could, and by opening reservoirs which were placed at intervals
To this intolerable nuisance the inhabitants generally seemed
1 Keekiana, by Robert Chambers, p. 227 : ' The Ci/y Cleaned and Country Jmproven,
" The house was situated at the head of Dick- pp. 6, 8.
son's Close, a few doors below Niddry Street." " Humphry Clinker, ii. 227. Garily loo is a
I have found all these names, except Stirling's, corruption of gardes I'eau, a cry which, like so
in the recent interesting reprint of the Edinburgh many other Scotch customs and words, bears
Directory for I773~4> published by William witness to the close connection which of old
Brown, Edinburgh, 1889. existed between Scotland and France.
" Stenchel. An iron bar for a window." ~ Hurt's Letters from a Gentleman, etc., \,
Jnmieson's Scottish Dictionary. 21.
3 Tirlesing is not given by Jamieson. * Topham's Letters from Edinburgh, p.
4 The City Cleaned and Country Impre/ven, 152. Edinburgh, 1760, p. 5.