Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/225

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Chapter II
Cabs introduced into England—Restrictions placed upon them—A comical-looking cab—Dickens on cabs—Hackney-coachmen wish to become cabmen—The cab business a monopoly—Restrictions are removed—The Cab paper—The Boulnois cab invented—The "minibus"—The "duobus"—Bilking—A peer's joke

Nearly one hundred years have elapsed since Londoners, growing dissatisfied with the lumbering hackney-coaches plying for hire in the metropolis, began to advocate the introduction of the cabriolet de place which for some considerable time had been exceedingly popular in Paris. Unfortunately, the hackney-coach proprietors had been granted the sole right of carrying people within the bills of mortality—an area which contained the most thickly populated parts of London and nearly all the places of entertainment—and naturally they protested strongly against the introduction of what might prove to be formidable rivals to their slow-travelling vehicles. But in 1805 cabriolet promoters received a slight