Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/221

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201
Hackney-Coaches

to the unfortunate freight? to be noted on entering, to be noted on exiting, an effectual against fraudulent space as a watch is against fraudulent time, with shillings on the dial plate where there are hours; and where there are minutes, sixpences. It would not cost £2, it would save endless altercations, it would save typographying a table of hackney-coach fares, it would save a man's money and temper, and go far towards saving the souls of hackney-coachmen born, or to born — and the trouble of the commissioners. Our invention is best of all possible inventions, and therefore it will not be adopted."

"Jehu" did not make a mistake—his suggestion was not adopted, and hackney-coachmen, soured by the rivalry of the newly introduced omnibuses and cabs, became more extortionate and abusive than ever they had been.

A few proprietors believing that the new vehicles were doomed to failure, kept their hackney-coaches in good repair and made it a rule to have respectable men for drivers but these clean coaches were not numerous enough to prevent hackney-coaches as a body from being termed dirty and disreputable. In "Sketches by Boz," Dickens gives