Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/50

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Omnibuses and Cabs

      "Unlike the conductors by tailors opprest,
         His horses have all in harness been drest;
         The cattle are good, the men's orders are clear,
         Not to gallop or race—so says Shillibeer.

        "That the beauties of Greenwich and Deptford may ride
         In his elegant omni is the height of his pride—
         So the plan for a railroad must soon disappear
         While the public approve of the new Shillibeer."

But, unfortunately for Shillibeer, the plan for the Greenwich railway did not disappear. It was carried out, and when, in 1835, the railway was opened, the earnings of Shillibeer's omnibuses began to decrease ominously. For a time Shillibeer struggled on manfully, but the fight with the railway was an expensive one, and getting into arrears with his payments to the Stamp and Taxes Office, his omnibuses were seized and not permitted to be worked until the money was paid. This unreasonable action on the part of the Stamp Office was repeated three or four times, and the heavy expenses and hindrance to business caused thereby brought about Shillibeer's failure.

Acting on the advice of his many sympathisers, Shillibeer appealed, in 1838, to the Lords of the Treasury for compensation for the injustice done to him, with the result that, shortly after, he was offered the position of Assistant Registrar of