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larger houses and larger reservoirs, the water
when turned on runs for as long a time into my
small, as it does into their capacious cisterns,
and consequently, if my stop-taps be in the
least out of order, a greater quantity descends
the waste pipe than remains behind. This is
universally the case in similar circumstances.'

'We supply water daily, Sundays excepted,'
remarked the Engineer.

' Then you are wiser than your neighbours.
But every inconvenience and nearly all the
waste, would be saved by the adoption of the
continuous system of supply. Secondly, a
large quantity of water is consumed by
cattle, breweries, baths, public institutions,
for putting out fires, and for laying dust.
The lieges of London have only, therefore, to
divide between them some 10 gallons of water
each per day; and, as it is generally admitted
that a sixth part of their habitations are
without water at all, the division must be
most unequally made. That such is the fact
is shown by your own figuresyour customers
get 25 gallons each per day, or more than
double their share. For this excess, some in
poorer districts get none at all.'

'That is no fault of the existing companies.
As sellers of an article, they are but too happy
to get as many customers for it as possible;
but poor tenants cannot, and their landlords
will not, afford the expense. If the
companies were to make the outlay necessary to
connect the houses with their mains, they
would have no legal power to recover the
money so expendednor indeed is it clear,
that were they inclined to run the risk, the
parties would avail themselves of it. In one
instance, the Southwark and Vauxhall
Company offered to construct a tank which would
give continuous supply to a block of 100 small
houses, at the rate of 50 gallons per diem to
eachif the proprietor would pay an
additional rate sufficient to yield 5 per cent. on
the outlay, such additional rate not exceeding
one half-penny per week for each house, but
the offer was declined.'

' That is an extreme case of cheapness on
the one side, and of stupidity on the other,'
said the barrister. ' Other landlords will not
turn on water for their tenants, because of
the expense; not only of the " plant," in the
first instance, but of the after water-rent.
I find, by the account rendered to the House
of Commons in 1834, that the South London
Company (since incorporated with the
Southwark, as the "Southwark and Vauxhall,"
the very Company you mention,)
charged considerably less than any other.
The return shows that while they obtained
only 15s. per 1000 hogsheads; the West
Middlesex (the highest) exacted 48s., 6d. for the
same quantity; consequently, had the houses
of the foolish landlord who refused one half-
penny per week for water, stood in north-
western instead of southern London, he would
have had to pay more than treble, or a fraction
above three half-pence per week.'

'Allowing for difference of level,' I
remarked, 'and other interferences with the
cheap delivery of water; the disparity in the
charges of the different companies, and even
by the same company to different customers,
is unaccountable: they are guided by no
principle. You have mentioned the extreme
points of the scale of rates; the remaining
companies charged at the time you mention,
respectively per 1000 hogsheads, 17s., 17s. 2d.,
21s., 28s., 29s., and 45s. The only companies
whose charges are limited by act of
parliament are the Grand Junction, the East
London, the Southwark and Vauxhall, and
the Lambeth. The others exact precisely
what they please.'

' And,' interposed Lyttleton, ' there is no
redress: the only appeal we, the taxed, have,
is to our taxers, and the monopoly is so tight
thatas is my casealthough your next door
neighbour is supplied from a cheaper
company, you are not allowed to change.'

' The companies were obliged to combine, to
save themselves from ruin and the public from
extreme inconvenience,' said our informant;
' during the competition streets were torn
up, traffic was stopped, and confusion was
worse confounded in the districts where the
opposition raged.'

' But what happened when the war ceased,
and the general peace was concluded? ' said
Lyttleton, chuckling. ' To show how ill some
of the companies manage their affairs, I could
cite some laughable cases. When the
combination commenced, some of them forgot to
stop off their mains, and supplied water to
customers whom they had previously turned
over to their quondam rivals; so that one
company gave the water, and the other pocketed
the rent. This, in some instances, went on
for years.'

Here the subject branched off into other
topics. It is worthy of notice that the
conversation was carried on by the side of the
enormous Cornish engine, that was driving
4400 gallons per minute 218 feet high.

' It is marvellous,' I remarked, ' that so
much power can be exercised with so little
noise and vibration.'

' That's owing to the patent valves in the
pump,' said the stoker.

Taking a last look at the monster, we went
outside to view the stand-pipe. Being, we
were told, 218 feet high, it tops the Monument
in Fish Street-hill by 16 feet. Within it is
performed the last stroke of hydraulic art
which is needed; for nature does the rest. The
water, sent up through the middle or thickest
of the tubes, falls over into the open mouths
of the smaller ones—(which most people
mistake for supports)—descends through all four
at once into the conduit-pipe, and travels of its
own accord leisurely to London. In obedience
to the law of levels, it rises without further
trouble to the tops of the tallest houses on
the highest spots in the Company's district. In
its way it fills a large reservoir on Camden-hill.