The mostly macadaniized streets were thick with mud in wet weather, and every profitable crossing had its crossing-sweeper. Where are the crossing-sweepers now, and where the corresponding number of beggars? Crossing-sweepers and beggars were naturally clothed raggedly and filthily, but it seems to me, at least in memory, that one might almost have said the same of the working classes in those days. Travelling on the Underground about the time that men came from their work, in the dirty jackets and corduroys in which they had been working, was anything but pleasant. The cigarette was then no smoke for the working man; he smoked a short clay pipe. With a short clay pipe spitting is inevitable, and the floors of the Underground railway carriages were almost slippery with saliva. In the evenings there were then practically no counter attractions to the public house; the sight of drunken men and women, a free fight, or even of a man lying in the gutter, does not seem to have been very rare.
As regards another matter-vermin - I think the improvement has been almost as striking. Giving unintended hospitality to a hungry flea picked up in some growler or hansom cab, or on the Underground Railway, was not exceedingly rare. Keating's Powder was an invaluable item in the outfit for the summer holidays, and I have dreadful recollections of our taking a house at the seaside - accordinig to my recollection it was a doctor's house - out of which we fled the next morning, hopelessly routed by its hoards of saltatory inhabitants. In spite of their respective dates, my memories of these early years always seem to call up pictures much more reminiscent of Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor rather than the later work of Charles Booth.
Mr. Udny Yule (born 1871) speaking at a meeting of Royal Statistical Society, recorded in its Journal, Vol. 99, No. 4 (1936), p.708