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Dickens on Cabs

his article on Hackney-Coach Stands. "Cabs are all very well in cases of expedition, when it's a matter of neck or nothing, life or death, your temporary home or your long one. But, besides a cab's lacking that gravity of deportment which so peculiarly distinguishes a hackney-coach, let it never be forgotten that a cab is a thing of yesterday, and that he was never anything better. A hackney-cab has always been a hackney-cab, from his first entry into public life; whereas a hackney-coach is a remnant of past gentility, a victim to fashion, a hanger-on of an old English family, wearing their arms, and, in days of yore, escorted by men wearing their livery, stripped of his finery, and thrown upon the world, like a once smart footman when he is no longer sufficiently juvenile for his office, progressing lower and lower in the scale of four-wheeled degradation, until at last it comes to—a stand!"

The growing popularity of the cabs soon thoroughly alarmed the hackney-coachmen, who at first had jeered at the new vehicle and prophesied a short career for it. They endeavoured to get their licence-plates transferred to cabs, but were unsuccessful, for the proprietors of that period