Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/24

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Omnibuses and Cabs

in the venture. The Marquis de Sourches and the Marquis de Crénan he induced to take an active part in the management and, best of all, he obtained from Louis XIV a decree authorising the establishment of carrosses à cinq sous. Seven vehicles to carry eight passengers each, all inside, were built, and on March 18th, 1662, they began running. The first one was timed to start at seven o'clock in the morning, but an hour or two earlier a huge crowd had assembled to witness the inauguration ceremony, which was performed by two Commissaires of the Châtelet, attired in their official robes. Accompanying them were four guards of the Grand Prévôt, twenty men of the City Archers, and a troop of cavalry. The procession, on arriving at the line of route, divided into two parts, one Commissaire and half of the attendants proceeded to the Luxembourg, and the others to the Porte St. Antoine. At the latter place three of the twopenny-halfpenny coaches were stationed, the other four being at the Luxembourg. Each Commissaire then made a speech, in which he pointed out the boon that carrosses à cinq sous would be to the public, and laid great stress on the fact that they