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THE LONDON CAB-DR1VER.
The introduction of coaches into London in the reign of Queen Elizabeth -The Riding Horses in previous use-Coaches, when introduced, used only by the very highest classes of society, and regarded as an effeminacy - On other classes beginning the use of coaches, the higher classes continued to add to the number of the horses by which their coaches were drawn, in order to retain a superiority -The introduction of Hackney Coaches - Kept at inns in the reign of James I - Hackney Coach-stands in the public streets established - These prohibited by the Proclamations of succeeding Kings - The popular feeling in their favour, stronger than the Royal Proclamations against them - The two centuries of Hackney Coach continuance -The last days of Hackney Coaches -The Cabriolets of Paris - Their subsequent introduction in London - The immense increase in their number during the twenty years of their existence - Their present number - The Cab-driver - The old Hackney Coachman compared with the Cab-driver of the present day - The extensive use of Cabs on Sundays, and its injurious effects - The extortion complained of in Cabmen - The unlicensed Cab-driver - The extreme depravity of this class - Cab-drivers, as a body, exposed to unjust odium - Recent alterations in the system of licensing, and its effects - Great difference in the character of the London Cabstands - The Waterman - First efforts for the religious welfare of Cabmen, as a body, as made by the London City Mission - A missionary appointed by that Society to visit them - His great success - A second missionary appointed - Cases recorded of his usefulness - His discontinuance through want of pecuniary support from the Christian public - The emigration of the first missionary, and the appointment of his [-163-] successor - Review of his efforts and success - Case of usefulness to a Cabman by a Scripture-reader - Cases of usefulness recorded by the Cab Missionary of the London City Mission last year- Great importance of an addition of missionaries to Cabmen - Facility of its accomplishment-Concluding appeal.
The Introduction of Coaches into London in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.
When Queen Elizabeth came to the crown,
A coach in England then was scarcely known." * (* Taylor's "Thief. 1622.)
UNTIL late in the reign of Elizabeth there were no carriages
for riding of any description, traversing the streets of London; and it was not
till the accession of James that their use became established. For long after
their introduction, it was considered a mark of effeminacy to patronize them.
"Twas then held as great a disgrace for a young gentleman to be seen
riding in the street in a coach, as it would now for such an one to be seen in
the streets in a petticoat.. . . ; so much is the fashion of the times now
altered."* (*Aubrey's "Life of Sir Philip Sidney, p. 554.) Nor was a coach then by any means the luxury that it is now. For
London then, like cities on the Continent still, was without trottoirs. "The
middle of a paved street was generally occupied with the channel; and the sides
of the carriage-way were full of absolute holes, where the ricketty coach was
often stuck as in a quagmire. Some of the leading streets, even to the time of
George II., were almost as impassable as the avenues of a new American town."*
(*Knight's "London," i., 19.) The only road even to the Houses of Parliament, but a century since, was through
streets "which were in so miserable a state, that faggots were thrown into
the ruts on the days on which the king went to Parliament, to render the passage
of the State coach more easy."* (*Smith's
"Westminster," p. 262.) We scarcely [-164-] wonder, with London streets in this
condition, that the mass adopted
the choice of Gay-
"Let others in the jolting coach confide,
Or in the leaky boat the Thames divide,
Or box'd within the chair, contemn the street,
And trust their safety to another's feet:
Still let me walk."
The riding Horses in previous Use.
were the common mode of riding, till coaches were introduced. Nor was the use of
these confined to the male sex. Chaucer thus describes his "Wife of Bath:"-
"Upon an ambler easily she sat,
Ywimpled well, and on her head a hat,
As broad as is a buckler or a targe,
A foot mantle about her hippes large,
And on her feet a pair of spurres sharp."
Even Queen Elizabeth herself rode through London on a horse, purchased for her Majesty by Sir Thomas Gresham at Antwerp.
Coaches when introduced used only by the very Highest Class of Society, and regarded as an effeminacy.
Coaches were introduced in 1564, by a Dutchman, who afterwards became Queen
Elizabeth's coachman. "But after a while, divers great bodies, with as
great jealousy of the Queen's displeasure, made them coaches, and rid up and
down the country in them, to the great admiration of all the beholders;... then
by little and little they grew usual among the nobility and others of the sort,
and within twenty years became a great trade of coach-making." *
(*Stow) Persons of a
more middling rank in society after this began to follow the fashion of their
superiors, to such an extent that in little [-165-]
than thirty years a Bill had to be brought into Parliament "to restrain the
excessive use of coaches." The satirists of manners were very severe on this
luxury, and tobacco having been introduced into England about the same period,
it was debated by them whether the devil brought tobacco into our country in a
coach, or the coach in a mist of tobacco. The common name by which a coach was
called in London long after was a "hell cart."* (*Taylor) It was considered quite
unseemly, and a token of the degeneracy of the age, that-
"Fulsome madams, and new scurvy squires,
Should jolt the streets at pomp, at their desires,
Like great triumphant Tamberlaines, each day,
Drawn with the pamper'd jades of Belgia,
That almost all the streets are chok'd outright,
Where men can scarcely pass, from morn till night."* (*Evelyn)
On other Classes beginning the use of Coaches, the higher Classes continued to add to the Number of the Horses by which their Coaches were drawn, in order to retain a Superiority.
proud Duke of Buckingham, seeing that coaches with two horses were used
by all, and that the nobility had only the exclusive honour of four horses,
set up a coach with six horses; and then the 'stout Earl of
Northumberland' established one with eight horses." (*Knight's "London, vol.
i., p. 26). The middle classes
soon got to use four horses; and in a well-known play, written at this
period, Anne Frugal is made to demand of her admire-
" My coach
Drawn by six Flanders' mares, my coachman, groom,
Postliion, and footman."* (* Massinger's "Court Madam.")
The Introduction of Hackney Coaches kept at Inns, in the Reign of James I
Still further mortification was soon to attend the retainers of exclusive luxuries in coaches. At the close of the reign of James I., in 1623, the present system of hackney coaches was introduced. It was then no longer necessary to purchase a coach, in order to enjoy its advantages. Those whose means quite precluded them from such a cost, might now for a very small sum hire the accommodation. Pride rather than convenience, however, was supposed to be the main motive, for some period, to the use of the hired carriage. It was then accounted as something very grand to ride in a coach; so that when "two leash of oyster-wives hired one to carry them to the green goose fair at Stratford the Bow, as they were hurried betwixt Aldgate and Mile-end, they were so be-madam'd, be-mistress'd, and ladyfied by the beggars, that the foolish women began to swell with a proud supposition of imaginary greatness, and gave all their money to the mendicanting canters."* (* "World Runs on Wheels," p. 239) "Proud mistresses rode, grinning and deriding at the people crowded and shrowded up against stalls and shops."* (*Evelyn)
Hackney Coach-stands in the Public Streets established.
In the reign of Charles I., 1634, the first hackney coach-stand was established in London. Hackney-coaches were before kept at inns, as post-chaises were subsequently. Garrard, in a letter to Strafford, writes: "Here is one Captain Baily, he hath been a sea captain, but now lives on the land, about this city [London], where he tries experiments. He hath erected, according to his ability, some 4 hackney-coaches, put his men in livery, and appointed them to stand at the May-pole in the Strand, giving them instructions at what [-167-] rates to carry men into several parts of the town, where all day they may be had. Other hackney-men seeing this way, they flock to the same place, and perform their journeys at the same rate. So that sometimes there is 20 of them together, which disperse up and down, that they and others are to be had everywhere, as watermen are to be had by the water-side. Everybody is much pleased with it." * (* Strafford's Letters, vol. 1., p. 227)
These Prohibited by the Proclamations of succeeding Kings, but in vain.
The next year the King issued a proclamation against these stands, and these proclamations were subsequently renewed; but the people disregarded the same, the popular feeling being strong in favour of the plan. It shows that in a free constitution like our own the voice of the people is supreme. In the reign of Charles II., A. D. 1660, Pepys, although a courtier, in his usual quaint manner, makes the following entry in his "Diary :" - " Notwithstanding this is the first day of the King's proclamation against hackney-coaches coming into the streets to stand to be hired, yet I got one to carry me home."
The Two Centuries of Hackney-coach continuance.
"The hackney-coachman after the Restoration is a
personage with a short whip and spurs; he has been compelled to mount one of his
horses, that he may more effectually manage his progress through the narrow
streets. His coach too is a small affair. D'Avenant describes the coaches as . . .
'so narrow, that I took them for sedans on
wheels.' As the streets were widened, after the fire, the coachman was restored
to the dignity of a seat on . . . a box. This was a thing for use, and not for
finery. Here, or in a leather pouch appended to it, the careful man carried a
hammer, [-168-] pincers, nails, ropes, and other appliances, in case of need;
and the hammer-cloth was devised to conceal these necessary but unsightly
remedies for broken wheels and shivered panels." * (* Knight's "London," vol.
i., p. 29.)
For some 200 years hackney-coaches had their day, but even those who are but young can remember their fall, till now they are wholly and probably for ever gone. During that long period, they "passed through all their phases of dirt and discomfort; the springs growing weaker, the 'iron ladder' by which we ascended into their ricketty capaciousness more steep and more fragile, the straw filthier, the cushions more redolent of dismal smells, the glasses less air-tight."* (Ibid p.31)
The Last Days of London Hackney-coaches.
The author of "London Labour and the London Poor" thus describes "the latter days of London hackney-coaches," and the introduction of cabs in their place :- "They were nearly all noblemen's and gentlemen's disused family coaches, which had been handed over to the coachmaker when a new carriage was made. But it was not long that these coaches retained the comfort and cleanliness that might distinguish them, when first introduced to the stand. The horses were . .. sorry jades, sometimes cripples, and the harness looked as frail as the carriages. The exceptions to this description were few, for the hackney-coachmen possessed a monopoly, and thought it unchangeable. They were of the same class of men-nearly all gentlemen's servants, or their sons. The obtaining of a license for a hackney-coachman was generally done through interest. It was one way in which many peers and Members of Parliament provided for any favourite servant, or for the servant of a friend."
The Cabriolets of Paris.
"For the introduction of London cabriolets (a word which it now seems almost pedantic to use) we are indebted . . . to the example of the Parisians. In 1813 there were 1,150 cabriolets de place upon the hackney-stands of Paris; in 1823 (10 years later) there were 12 upon the hackney- stands of London! Long before 1823, many efforts were made to introduce a lighter hackney vehicle, cheaper, and drawn by only one horse, into the streets of London, but the vested rights' of the hackney-coachmen were an obstacle."
Their subsequent Introduction in London.
"Mesrs. Bradshaw and Rotch, however, did manage, in 1823, to obtain licenses for 12 cabriolets, starting them at 8d. a mile, the hackney-coach fare being 1s. The number was subsequently increased to 50, and then to 100, and in less than 9 years after the first cab placed in the streets of London, all restriction as to their number was abolished. The form of a cab first in use was that of a hooded chaise, the leather head or hood being raised or lowered at pleasure. In wet windy weather, however, it was found, when raised, to present so great a resistance to the progress of the horse, that the hood was abolished. In these cabs, the driver sat inside, the vehicle being made large enough to hold 2 persons and the cabman. The next kind had a detached seat for the driver, alongside his fare. On the third sort the driver occupied the roof, the door opening at the back. . . . The 'covered cab,' carrying 2 inside, with the driver on a box in front, was next introduced, and it was a safer conveyance, having 4 wheels, the preceding cabs having had but 2. The Clarences, carrying 4 inside, came next; and almost at the same time with them, the Hansoms. [-170-] . . . There are now no cabs in use but the last two mentioned." * (* "Labour and the Poor," Letter lxxii., "Morning Chronicle," October 3, 1850.)
The immense Increase in their Number during the Twenty Years of their Existence.
In 1652, the number of hackney-coaches was limited to 200; in 1654, to 300; in 1661, to 400; in 1694, to 700; in 1711, the number was increased to 800, but this was not to take place till the expiration of the then licenses in 1715; in 1771, the hackney-coach licenses granted were extended to 1,000, which was made 1,200 in 1799, at which number it continued till hackney-coaches ceased to exist; so that, in 1823, this was the total of hackney carriages plying for hire in the streets of London.
Their present Number.
In the census returns of 1831, the number of persons
connected with the hackney carriage business of the metropolis was 2,047, which
in the succeeding 20 years has increased far more rapidly, notwithstanding the
immen5e amount of business done in omnibuses, which has sprung up during that
period. On December 31st, 1852, there were 3,593 licensed metropolitan cabs. The
number of licensed cab-drivers was 6,388, and of licensed watermen 346, making a
total of 6,734. With their wives and families, they probably constitute a body
of 25,000 individuals. They are also every year increasing in number. During the
last 6 years the number of cabs has increased 943, and of cab-drivers 1,751.
Unlicensed men are also to be added to this enumeration.
There are far more men employed in this manner in London than there are in all the other towns of the United [-171-] Kingdom added together. According to the "Occupation Abstract" of 1841, of 14,469 "coachmen, coach-guards, and post-boys," in Great Britain, 9,104 were employed in the metropolis.
There can be no question that this rapid increase in the
number of London cabs has very greatly promoted the comfort and added to the
convenience of the London population. But, as a class, cab-drivers are far
behind most others in their moral and religious habits, and they have received,
to the present time, a very small measure indeed of the attention of those who
have shown themselves in the most praiseworthy manner ready in deeds of
benevolence towards classes, the claim of whom on their regard and aid is
perhaps far less strong.
As compared, indeed, with the old hackney-coachmen of 30 years since, the cab-drivers of the present day are in many respects a different class of men. In speed and alacrity they are the very opposites of their predecessors, with their 4 or 5 miles an hour pace. The old hackney- coachmen were accustomed to spend regularly 7s. a-day in eating and drinking! An old hand thus described the daily course of himself and comrades, apparently with entire truth, to the compiler of "Labour and the Poor." "Breakfast 1s., good tea and good bread and butter, as much as you liked, always with a glass of rum in the last cup, for the 'lacing' of it. Always rum, gin weren't so much run after then. Dinner was 1s. 6d., a cut off some good joint; beer was included at some places, and not at others. Any extras to follow was extra to pay. Two glasses of rum and water after dinner, is., pipes found, and most of us found our own baccy-boxes. Tea same as breakfast, and 'laced' ditto. Supper the same as dinner, or 6d. less, and the rest to make [-172-] up 7s. went for odd glasses of ale or short' (neat spirits). Take day and night, and 1,200 of us was out, and perhaps every man spent his 7s." So that the 1,200 old hackney-coachmen spent no less in their own eating and drinking than 420l. a-day, 2,940l. a-week, and 152,880l. a-year. How sad an illustration did they present of low animal life. They were also as ignorant as they were self-indulgent. Very few of them could read or write. They seemed, in fact, only to care for the body, and for the present moment.
The cabmen of the present day are considered by the public in general to be a degraded, profligate class of persons. They are well aware that this is the opinion generally entertained of them, and every man's hand being, as they believe, against them, their hand is against every man's in return. To this there are, however, of course many honourable exceptions. But the very extensive prevalence of the feeling referred to renders them in a peculiar manner susceptible of the manifestation of kindness. It is the more appreciated by them from the fact that they so seldom meet with it. They are consequently as a class very ready to listen to the counsel and instruction of a Christian visitor, whose soul commiserates with them in their particular difficulties, and is filled with zeal and love for their best interests. The world has been as loud in finding fault with this class of the community as the Church has been silent in presenting to them the grand remedy for every disorder, entrusted to its own keeping to trade with till its Lord's return. They have been almost wholly neglected.
The extensive Use of London Cabs on Sundays, and its injurious Effects on the Drivers.
There are 3 especial difficulties in the way of the moral and religious improvement of this class of the population. The first of these is that they have no Sabbath. Most of them [-173-] are employed as drivers by proprietors, who will not allow of their ceasing work on that day. They must either relinquish their situations, or violate the sanctity of that holy day. And yet Sunday is by far the least profitable day of the seven to the cab proprietor. This is so fully admitted that a less amount of money is required by him to be brought home then than on other days, notwithstanding which more drivers are discharged on Sundays than during the week, for not being able to bring home the required amount which is expected from them. There is a general feeling on the part of cab-drivers that it is a degradation to them to be employed on Sundays. Although they very seldom recognise the fact of the holy character of the day as a day especially to be devoted to religious improvement and the worship and service of God, they yet are most averse to being employed on that day in their worldly callings. Their customers, moreover, on that day are either pleasure-takers or professedly religious persons, and it is generally considered that the custom of the latter is even greater than that of the former, while it is also more steady and regular throughout the year. Persons who have not mixed intimately with the drivers of cabs can scarcely imagine the stumbling-block which this presents to their favourable regard of the claims of the Gospel. They entertain the idea that, if it were not for religious people, they would have their Sundays, as they believe that it would not otherwise be worth their masters' while to send them out on that day, except under special circumstances. So strongly does this circumstance produce an antipathy to religious persons on the part of cabmen, that some will even try to avoid taking fares to churches and chapels, simply because of their disgust at the practice of persons professing to be religious employing them for such purposes. The manner in which cabmen in general, in their intercourse with each other, swear at religious people, and especially at Christian [-174-] ministers, as a sort of humbugs, is most awful to listen to, according to the testimony of those who are in a position to hear it. No words are too bad in their vocabulary, wherewith they curse them. Sometimes, when religious people hire cabs to take them to church, they will say to the driver, as they get out, probably to relieve their conscience for the act, "We hope you attend some place of public worship." It is related in a recent pamphlet, entitled, "The Omnibus Men of London," that a cab-driver not long since answered a lady who thus addressed him, "No, ma'am, we drives about such as you." When cabmen are expostulated with by other religious persons, who avoid Sunday riding themselves, on the evil of their violation of the Sabbath, their common reply is, that there can be no more harm in their driving their cabs than in religious persons riding in them. Thus they justify themselves in their sin. And so decided is their impression against religious persons on account of it, that they may often be heard to say that the sound of the church bells makes them unhappy. It operates also prejudicially on their minds, that harder bargains are generally made with them by religious persons who ride in cabs on Sundays than by pleasure-takers. Indeed, cabmen in general lay it down as a truism that parsons are their worst customers, whether on Sundays or on other days. They place them even before lawyers in this respect. The missionary of the London City Mission employed among cabmen, was accustomed, when he first began his work of visiting the stands, to wear a white neckcloth. But he soon found that they mistook him from this circumstance for a minister, and that they would give no heed whatever to what he said. But on going among them subsequently with a black handkerchief the difference of his reception was almost incredible. He has always since found it most important to retain the latter dress. There are occasions on which it is possible much may be said for, as well as [-175-] against the use of cabs on Sundays, to convey Christian people to the house of God, and especially those who have to conduct these services, and whose residences are unavoidably at a distance. But in the great mass of cases, it admits of no defence, and the writer believes that if the fact were known, of the extreme injury which is actually done (whether rightly or not it matters not to inquire) to the mind of the cab-driver by the practice, Christian persons would feel they could no longer conscientiously be parties to it, but would submit to even a large amount of personal inconvenience to avoid it. The strong feeling of London cabmen with reference to Sunday work is shown in between 2,000 and 3,000 of them having this year signed a petition against the opening of the Crystal Palace on the Lord's-day.
The Extortion complained of in Cabmen.
A second snare to which cabmen are especially exposed is that of extortion, and they are exposed to great opprobrium from the public on this account. The practice cannot be justified, but the public frequently do not sufficiently consider the difficulty of the temptation, and they are too severe in their condemnation of the drivers as a class. It may therefore be desirable to explain their position. The public entertain the impression that the present fares, and especially with the small additions often made to them, leave a large profit. But such does not appear to be the case, and although efforts have been made to establish a company, the fares of whose cabs should be only 6d. a mile, they do not appear to have succeeded, and the general impression among practical men in the trade is that, even if a greatly increased trade was produced thereby, the price would not be remunerative. The cost of a good clarence cab is from 40l. to 50l., of a good horse to draw it from 18l. to 20l., and of harness from 4l. 10s. to 5l. The license to the cab pro-[-176-]prietor costs 5l., and the duty on the cab is 10s. every week, to be paid in advance. The cab-driver has also to pay for a license 5s. a-year. The liability of being taken a long way from home, without being able to get a fare back, and the long time which will frequently elapse between one fare and another, with the maintenance of the horse, the cost of stabling, and the wear and tear of the cab render it a somewhat expensive matter to embark and maintain a cab. The great majority of cabs are driven by men employed by cab proprietors, and it is reckoned in the trade that less than 14s. brought home daily by the driver in the season, and about 9s. out of the season,* (* The cabman's season is from April or May till July or August. There is a great difference in the amount of earnings during different parts of the year, although latterly the winter months have somewhat improved, and the season has gradually become later.) will not be remunerative; and to earn this it is necessary for 2 horses to be employed, and for the driver to return home from wherever he may be taken by his fare twice during the day. For this sum the driver is required by the proprietor to "sign," as it is termed, and he is held responsible for the amount, whether he earns it or not, having, on the other hand, any excess of this amount which he may happen to earn as his own perquisite, and which constitutes the entire of his remuneration, as he receives no wages. Some of the less respectable proprietors, who are called "contractors," and who are generally Jews, require the drivers to sign for 16s. and 12s. a-week, according to the season. But the present fares strictly adhered to, it is generally considered by-practical men, would scarcely allow even the former sums to be obtained, one day with another. The force of competition, and the hope of receiving some trifling addition to the legal amount in some of the fares, induce the drivers, however, to incur the risk. As a body, the difficulty which they experience in [-177-] obtaining a living after making up the amount for which they are answerable, a default in the payment of which loses them their places, and exposes them to the penalty of fine and imprisonment, more frequently leads to the demand of 6d. or 1s. more than is legally due, than the desire to make undue gain or take unfair advantage of the public, although the public are disposed to accuse them somewhat hastily of the latter.
The unlicensed Driver, and the extreme Depravity of this Class.
A third circumstance, which has given a very evil name to cabmen in general, on the part of the public, is a class of men, who, though dismissed from their body, are yet much mixed up with it. These are cabmen who have been deprived of their licenses for drunkenness or bad conduct. The law, in kindness to the licensed cab-driver, allows him, in case of need, to employ an unlicensed substitute for a period not longer than 24 hours, and by this means these discharged men get to drive licensed cabs. This is especially the case with the cabs of what are called "long-day men," - for the cab-drivers are divided into several distinct classes, according to the number and character of the hours during which they ply for hire, and there are, consequently, the long-day men; the morning men, who are out from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M.; the long-night men, who are out from 6 P.M. to 10 A.M.; and the short-night men, who are out from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. The long-day men (and it is they chiefly who are employed by the contractors) leave the stables at 9 or 10 in the morning, and do not return home till 12 or 1, or, in some cases, till 4 or 5, or even later, the next morning. These hours are more than one man can well endure, and he is therefore glad to avail himself of the help of the unlicensed driver towards the end of the day, or while he is [-178-] at his meals. There is also employment for these discarded men on the stands, and the licensed driver is ordinarily glad to give them the sixpence they expect from each driver for cleaning up the cab and harness, which otherwise he would have to do himself. Their mode of life is correctly sketched in the following extract :- "They usually loiter about the watering-houses (as the public-houses are called) of the cab-stands, and pass most of their time in the tap-rooms. They are mostly of intemperate habits, being usually 'confirmed sots.' Very few of them are married men. They have been what is termed fancy men in their prime, but, to use the words of one of the craft, 'got turned up.' They seldom sleep in a bed. Some few have a bed-room in some obscure part of the town, but the most of them loll about and doze in the tap-rooms by day, and sleep in cabs by night. When the watering-house closes they resort to the night coffee-shops, and pass the time there till they are wanted as "bucks."* (* This is the name given in the trade to cab-drivers who have been deprived of their licenses.) When they take a job for a man they have no regular agreement with the drivers, but the rule is that they shall do the best they can. If they take 2s, they give the driver 1s., and keep 1s. If 1s. 6d., they usually keep only 6d. . . . The regular driver has no check upon these men, but unless they do well they never employ them again. . . In the season some of them will make 2s. or 2s. 6d. a-day by rubbing up, and it is difficult to say what they make by driving. They are the most extortionate of all cab-drivers. For 1s. fare they will usually demand 2s., and for a 8s. fare they will get 5s. or 6s. If the number of the cab is taken, and the legitimate driver summoned, the party overcharged is unable to swear that the legitimate driver was the individual who defrauded him, and so the case is dismissed. It is supposed [-179-] that the "bucks" make quite as much money as the drivers, for they are not at all particular how they make their money. The great majority - 99 out of 100 - have been in prison, and many more than once, and they consequently do not mind about re-visiting gaol. It is calculated that there are about 800 or 1,000 bucks hanging about the London cab- stands, and these are mostly regular thieves. If they catch any person asleep or drunk in a cab, they are sure to have a dive into his pockets; nor are they particular if the party belong to their own class, for I am assured that they steal from one another while dozing in the cabs or tap-rooms."* (* "Labour and the Poor." Letter lxxii. "Morning Chronicle," October 3, 1850.) The number of these unlicensed men has since materially increased, about 700 cab-drivers having been deprived of their licenses last June (1852), on the ground of character. These are now added to the "bucks." And it illustrates how many even of the licensed cab-drivers were little or nothing better than the others. A class has always existed of a very profligate character, chiefly those employed in night work, although some respectable contractors employ a portion of their cabs at night, simply because they have not room in their stables for all their stock during the same hours. The bad class are willing to "sign" for a higher amount than others, and they resort to every discreditable purpose to make it answer, especially seeking for fares from swell-mobsmen, drunken, and profligate persons. They also ordinarily live with bad women, who by their sin assist in their support. The article in the "Chronicle," just quoted from, stated their number as "1-10th, or to speak beyond the possibility of cavil, 1-12th of the whole number of [licensed] cab-drivers." They are now not more, probably, than 1-20th, but they are only transferred to the unlicensed portion of the trade.
Cab-drivers as a Body exposed to unjust Odium.
It must be at once apparent how fearfully these dissipated night-drivers, and these unlicensed outcasts from prisons, must tend to bring an ill-repute on cab-drivers in general. And yet it would be unjust to them not to distinguish the one class from the other. It should be known also that about a third of the London cabs belong to small masters, who often drive their own vehicles, and who are the most respectable portion of the drivers. Another large class of drivers, who are of a more respectable order, are those employed at the railway stations. The railway authorities select the best vehicles and horses, and drivers on whom they can best depend for the faithful and cheerful performance of their duties. They also impose a fine of 5s. for drunkenness, 5s. for insolence, 5s. for overcharge of fare or luggage, and 10s. for retaining any article left by a passenger in the cab. A second offence is punishable with dismissal.
Recent Alteration in the System of Licensing, and its Effects.
On the whole, the alteration made some two years since, of placing the licenses of cabs in the hands of the Commissioners of Police, has worked well. Greater strictness is exercised in not allowing licenses to men of known bad character. The 700 licenses taken away last June, to which previous reference was made, illustrate this very forcibly. More stringent rules have been issued, especially with regard to stands, while this work has been passing through the press, the effects of which have yet to be determined.
Great Difference in the Character of London Cab-stands.
The character of the metropolitan cab-stands differs almost as much as that of the different classes of cab-drivers. [-181-] There are about 200 authorized stands. They have been recently increased, but they will even now hold but a small proportion of the existing cabs. The stands near theatres are generally the worst. Those near the river below London Bridge are also bad. Such is also the case with those in low neighbourhoods. The South part of London, near the Surrey and Victoria Theatres in particular, is the resort of the worse class of cab-drivers. But Westminster stands pre-eminent in this respect. The Westminster proprietors are by far the lowest in the trade.
The character of the respective stands, and the degree of favour or otherwise with which religious efforts can be made for the drivers who resort to them, is most materially influenced by that important person, the waterman. There are from 1 to 4 watermen to each stand, according to its importance. They have all been themselves cabmen, and the waterman's office is considered the top post in the trade. They are entrusted with the preservation of order on the stand, and are not appointed without very good certificates of character and trustworthiness.
First Efforts for the Religious Welfare of Cabmen as a Body, as made by the London City Mission.
In the "London City Mission Magazine" for December, 1843,
the following appeal was made to the Christian public on behalf of this
neglected class of men. So far as the author is aware, it was the very first
appeal ever made for their religious instruction.
"Cabmen are universally known in the metropolis. We come into frequent, if not daily, contact with them. They greatly contribute to the convenience of the public, and it is most reasonable that their privations, as to the attainment of religious knowledge and privileges, should be kindly con-[-182-]sidered, and remedied to the utmost of our power. The driving of a cab . . . is often a last resort when other employment fails; and, on many grounds, not a few who are thus engaged would abandon such an employment for ever, could they obtain a situation in which they would not be exposed to such scenes of profanity and wickedness as they are frequently obliged to witness. Among the cabmen there are many who are upright, &c., . . but speaking of them generally, they are . . . exceedingly profane among themselves, &c. . . Ladies, when unprotected by a gentleman, are often annoyed, . . and their timidity is practised upon and taken advantage of. . . But our object is, not to describe the cabmen of London, but to call attention to them as a very large, but neglected body of persons. Day and night they are to be found on the various stands in the metropolis, and exposed to every variety of weather, with but short intervals for sleep and domestic comfort. Their home is chiefly in the streets. The Sabbath is to them not a day of rest, and not many persons care for their souls. A few Christians have spoken to them kindly, and have given them tracts; and missionaries of the London City Mission have not failed to interest themselves in this class of our population, and especially so where they have cab-stands either on their districts or contiguous to them. But no systematic effort has yet been made to give them good counsel, or to awaken their attention to the claims of their own souls and to the claims of God. They are acquainted with the outside of churches and chapels generally, for they get many fares on the Sunday either to or from places of worship. But they very seldom, if ever, are found observing the Sabbath and worshipping God. What can be done for them? It is proposed, that two missionaries should be appointed, whose services should be entirely devoted to cab and omnibus men. This would be a beginning, though totally inadequate to the necessities of the case."
A Missionary appointed by that Society to visit them, and his Great Success.
One missionary only was provided for in answer to this appeal. His name was
Adams. He had himself been for many years the proprietor of a cab, which he
himself drove. Having, however, a very numerous family, whom he found it
difficult to sustain on a missionary's salary, he was led to emigrate to
Australia, after some years' faithful labours among the class with whom he had
been previously associated. He was much respected on the stands, and was made
useful in many instances.
In the Annual Report of the London City Mission for 1844, it was stated,-
"Cab-stands have been visited during the year by several of the missionaries, and about 4 months since a missionary was appointed exclusively to attend upon and visit the drivers of cabs and the drivers and conductors of omnibuses. Since his appointment, he has visited various cab-stands 178 times; he has had 2,156 conversations with cabmen, watermen, drivers and conductors, and has paid 169 visits to the houses of those who have been sick and dying, and has given away 3,010 tracts. The missionary is received with the greatest kindness and respect. He has found a large number of the drivers and conductors entirely ignorant of the first principles of religion, and living in a most degraded state. He has heard that about 23 drivers are communicants, and about 50 regularly attend public worship; but thousands of them never cross the door of God's sanctuary, nor acknowledge their Creator any more than the beasts that perish. One man told the missionary, be had not been in a place of worship for 32 years, and although he had a Bible, he had not read a chapter in it for 5 years. Several encouraging circumstances have transpired."
In the Report of the same Society for the succeeding year,
1845, it is stated,- "In the last Report, the appointment of a missionary to
cabmen of the metropolis was referred to . . . He has, during the past year,
been greatly blessed of God in his labours, although he has generally had to
prosecute them while standing in the crowded streets, among men intently looking
for a fare. The habits of these men are very much against them. Exposed to all
weathers, some of them by night, they frequent the public-house for a stimulant,"
The following striking cases of usefulness are then recorded, which had occurred during the year:-
"One cabman was found by the missionary living with a female, the mother of two children, and then again near her confinement. He had been once in Newgate, and twice in the House of Correction, and for the last 4 years he had been deprived of his license to drive in the public streets. But what a prison could not accomplish, the missionary, by God's blessing, has effected. He is now married to the woman with whom he lived; they have both become regular attendants at the missionary's meeting; and he is frequently to be seen sitting with the children, in the Ragged School which the cab missionary has opened during the year. The missionary has recommended his case to the registrar, who has, on the faith of this recommendation, again granted him his license, and he is now in a creditable manner following his lawful calling.
"Another cabman has discontinued driving his cab on the Lord's-day, and for the last 10 months has been a consistent communicant, bringing forth the peaceable fruits of the Spirit. His wife told the missionary, that at one time she was obliged, when she heard the footsteps of her husband, to hide her Bible, but now her home has become a happy one. God has blessed her husband, not only in his soul, but also [-185-] in his temporal circumstances, for when the missionary first visited him, he was the owner of 1 cab and 2 horses, but now he has 2 cabs and 4 horses. This case illustrates the declaration that 'godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.'
"A woman, who had made a profession of religion, 10 years since, married a cabman, who had no fear of God before his eyes. From that time she forsook the public means of grace, and neglected private prayer; nor had she for 7 years read any portion of God's Word. She is now brought to repentance. She desired to establish family prayer, and to the surprise of the missionary, her husband came to his residence for a tract of prayers. He consented to conduct the service; and, 'Sir,' said she to the missionary, 'I will leave you to judge of my feelings, when I beheld my husband, who had lived with me for 10 years, without any regard to religion, shed tears while on his knees offering to God the prayer of Tuesday evening.' She has been admitted a communicant, and there is great reason to believe that he is in earnest for the salvation of his soul.
"To a young man the cab missionary's labours were made useful; and for the last 9 months He has been a receiver of the Lord's Supper. His mother has also been in a pleasing state of mind. But the father was a bitter opponent of religion, and threatened to stab the first missionary who should enter his abode, and cut the throat of his wife if she allowed a missionary to come in. He became at length so violent that the son, having, since he became religious, been so prospered as to save 25l., determined on leaving his roof, and the mother was driven to accompany her son, and cast herself upon him for support. When the son stated to the cab missionary what he had done, the cab missionary offered to visit the father and endeavour to benefit him. The son [-186-] begged that he would not, as he believed that blood would be shed if he ventured into his room on such an errand. But the missionary went, and showed him the consequences of his conduct; and, without entering into details, suffice it to say, that the family are now living happily together, and all regularly attend the house of God, and give much promise of real devotedness to the Lord.
It is added,- "During the year he has read the Scriptures to cabmen on 689 occasions, paid 484 visits to the sick and dying, induced 17 regularly to attend public worship, and 5 altogether to give up Sunday work; 4 cabmen have been outwardly reformed, 7 have been admitted to the Lord's table as communicants, 4 backsliders give evidence of being reclaimed, 7 individuals now in health of being converted to God, and of 2 others in affliction, and 5 who have died, the same good hope is entertained. These results are truly large among such an order of men."
A Second Missionary appointed, but soon discontinued, through want of Funds for his Support.
In the succeeding year, 1846, the contributions for the cab missionary were increased to 93l. 16s. 7d. Encouraged thereby, a second missionary was appointed by that Society in 1847; but the contributions in 1847, for the two missionaries, fell to 32l. 6s. 6d. This second missionary had therefore to he removed to an ordinary district, where he is to this day labouring most efficiently. He also was himself previously a cab-driver and proprietor, and, consequently, well acquainted with the neglected class of men whom he was appointed to instruct. What a blessing might he not have been among them, if from that time to this he had been retained as at first appointed ! And is it not a reproach to a Christian public, that when a missionary was raised up to the Society for a peculiar work in which [-187-] missionary effort was so urgently needed, he could not be employed in it? Even now, how easily might his services be secured for this neglected class! He had the South of the river appropriated to him as his district, and from the day he relinquished it to the present time, the cab-stands in the South of London have received no systematic visitation from either the London City Mission or any other Society or individuals.
Cases recorded of his Usefulness.
"London City Mission Magazine" for May, 1847, contains a variety of cases of
usefulness among cabmen which had arisen during the year, from the effects of
each of the cab missionaries, their respective reports being there published
separately. But although they are very numerous and very encouraging, and
although the article ended with the sentence, "We earnestly hope that our
readers will come forward more liberally in support of this fund, so as to allow
the second missionary to be replaced," the Christian public made no response to
The very first case there recorded illustrates how the cab business is frequently taken to by persons who have become reduced, and were once in very different circumstances, and how serviceable religious counsel and instruction may be to them, through the Divine blessing. There are a considerable number of cab-drivers who have once possessed property, and who have received the advantage of a good education. They find it very difficult to brook the treatment which they frequently receive from those whose feelings towards them are of the same contempt as the term by which they ordinarily call them, of "cabbies." But to return to the case. It is as follows:-
"Mr. ---, of --- street, has been long known to me as depraved in his morals and sensual in his habits. He has [-188-] often been spoken to by me; but until some months since, religion was looked upon by him as a cunningly-devised fable. A few facts relating to his early history may not be considered uninteresting. His grandfather was a clergyman at ---, and held two livings to the time of his death. His father was a person of some property, which he accumulated as a solicitor. On the death of his father, he came into possession of 3,000l., which, it seems, he soon spent, and as a means of support became a cab-driver. About two years since, while out with his cab, and in a state of intoxication, he committed an assault upon a gentleman, for which he was committed to the House of Correction, and his driving license was revoked. For some months past he has been one of the most attentive and regular hearers at any weekly meeting, is now a sober man, and devotes much of his time to reading the Scriptures.
The next case recorded is a very striking illustration of the importance of religious visitation to a class of cab- men (and they are numerous) who have been previously the subjects of religious impression:-
"Some years since, --- --- , late of --- mews, was a member of the Church under the pastoral care of the Rev. J. H. Evans, but at last, through his own unfaithfulness, and his wife's violent temper, he gave up his connexion with the people of God. It is now about two years and a-half since he was first conversed with by me at the stand in Farringdon-street, when he said (to use his own words), 'I am a miserable backslider.' I faithfully warned him of the danger of continuing in his their present course, and brought before him a few of the many invitations held out in the Scriptures to such as had forsaken the fold, but to no good effect, at least for some time. Having been requested, by the Rev. J. H. Evans, not to lose sight of him, I sought and often obtained the opportunity of speaking to him on [-189-] Divine things. At last my mind was much pained to find that he had sold one of his cabs in the street, and had left London in company with a female. But he was soon brought to feel the truth of the following passage of God's Word, 'There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.' He returned home to his wife, by the blessing of God he was enabled to put away the evil of his doings, he became regular in his attendance where he once had a name and a place, and from that time, when out with his cab, he is often to be seen reading his pocket Testament. He at last had an interview with his late pastor, but it was thought prudent that he should wait for some months before he was again admitted a member. For the last 2 months that he was on the district I looked upon him with some anxiety, but there are now no doubts with respect to his having been made a partaker of Divine grace. Through my recommendation, he has been for the last six months coachman to a gentleman of title, during which time he has given great satisfaction by his conduct.
Another case recorded in that magazine is that of a cabman, earning only 12s. a-week, who received an offer from a friend of a permanent situation in a public-house of 30s. a-week, but who declined the same, by the missionary's advice, lest he should fall into a snare thereby, while, by means of the missionary's visitation, both he and his wife were received by their minister as communicants. Then follows the case of a cabman's wife, who, from a drunkard, became a sober woman by the same agency. Next follows the case of a cabman who was an Infidel, but who was led by the missionary to attend, apparently with profit, the ministry of the Hon. and Rev. B. W. Noel. We next read of a cabman, so impressed with the visits of the missionary, that he himself calls at the missionary's residence to tell him [-190-] the impression which his conversation had made on his soul; and, while the missionary speaks to him, he calls out, "Stay, sir, it is more than I can bear. You have unmanned me." After this comes the case of a cabman, known among his comrades by the name of "Drunken Dick." While drunk he had once had his skull fractured, and twice his limbs had been broken. But, through God's blessing on the missionary's efforts, he died, as is believed, a true penitent, trusting in his Saviour's forgiveness, and received from a very faithful clergyman, on his death-bed, the Supper of his Lord. A second case, of a somewhat similar character, succeeds this. Then are given cases of usefulness from the efforts of the second missionary. First, we are told of a cabman who has given up working his cab on a Sunday. Secondly, we are told of a drunken cabman who had become a sober man, after having well-nigh broken a brother's heart by his previous conduct; for which the missionary receives the thanks of the brother, given "with feelings of emotion which spoke more than words could convey." Thirdly, we are told of the wife of a cabman who, on her husband's death, had to go out to service, but who, impressed by the missionary's instructions, declined taking any place, except in a religious family, although she had long to wait for such a place, to her great inconvenience. Fourthly, we read of a cabman's wife who had once been a communicant, but had long declined from a religious course, brought back again from her wanderings to His people. Fifthly, we read of a cabman visited, and the tears streaming down his weather-beaten cheeks while the missionary expounded to him the Word of God, and 2 of the children sent, by his persuasion, to school. Nor are these all the cases of usefulness which are even recorded in that one Report. But they suffice to show what blessings result from such efforts among such a class.
The Emigration of the First Missionary, and the Appointment of his Successor, with Review of his Efforts and Success.
After Mr. Adams had emigrated, for some short period no one
discharged the duties which he had relinquished. But late in the year 1849, the
London City Mission appointed a successor, who is to this day engaged in the
work. He was not, like his predecessor, originally in the trade himself, and for
some time he had a difficulty in learning the ways of the particular class for
the promotion of whose benefit he was appointed to labour. But he made it his
business to acquaint himself intimately with their habits, and he is now
everywhere received as their friend. The access which he has obtained to them
admits of scarcely any exceptions. It is fully equal to what is ordinarily
experienced in district visitation. Although suspicious at first, kindness goes
very far with cabmen, they meet with so little of it in general. His influence
also increases materially each year, as he becomes better known. The instances
with which he meets of good effected by his predecessor is also very
encouraging. His qualifications for, and his interest in, the particular work
assigned him by the Society with which he is connected, are probably fully
equal to those of Mr. Adams, although those were considerable. In the year 1852,
he reported that he had made 14,638 visits to cabmen, of which 329 were to the
sick and dying. He distributed among them 15,062 religious tracts. He also read
the Scriptures in his visitation that year (notwithstanding all the unfavourable
circumstances which are connected with the doing so) 555 times. 14 cabmen had
that year been through his instrumentality brought to attend public worship, and
3, the fruits of his efforts, had become communicants. He does not visit south
of the river, nor further east [-192-] than Blackfriars. But there are, nevertheless, about 100
stands which he systematically and regularly visits. He also finds numerous
profitable opportunities for religious conversation with cabmen, while they are
kept waiting, sometimes a long time, for ladies and gentlemen at their own
doors. He also to some extent visits their wives and families, although not very
much, as they receive the visits of his brother missionaries and of other
religious visitors, from which many of them have derived much benefit. Probably
no class of men receive religious tracts more readily, or more generally read
what are given them. This partly arises from the time on their hands, while
waiting about. Some persons who ride in cabs are accustomed to leave a tract
on the cushion inside. It is a very easy mode of doing good. Very few persons
hiring cabs appear, however, to speak much religiously to the drivers.
Most cabmen, on becoming religious, relinquish the trade, and enter some other, which prevents so much fruit appearing from the efforts made as would otherwise be the case. There are, however, probably as many as 150 cabmen who, from religious principle, do not take out their cabs on Sundays. Many others only do so occasionally, and especially to oblige regular customers. And others refrain from Sunday work at the times of year when only little is to be gained by going out on that day. The cab missionary of time London City Mission considers that 100 of the London cabmen might be found who give every evidence of being truly religious men. This is probably more than many of our readers would have supposed. It has been brought about by various means, but the efforts of the London City Mission have most materially aided in it.
A letter was received from Mr. Adams on March 18, 1853, dated Biminyong, November 26, 1852. It is the first intelligence which the Society has received from him [-193-] since his emigration. And the letter manifests that, although so many thousand miles distant, having been prospered by the Lord, he has not forgotten his former work. The following is an extract: "I intend shortly to send a draft for 100l, in favour of the City Mission, as a small thank- offering to the Lord, for not only the mercies I now possess, but in remembrance of those blessed seasons I once enjoyed in communion with the City Mission. I trust the day is not far distant when I shall again be privileged to make known the Saviour's love, in London, to poor sin-sick sinners."
Case of Usefulness through a Scripture Reader.
Although no other Society employs an agency exclusively for
the benefit of cab-drivers, still they are met with in ordinary visitation here
and there, and important results have often accompanied efforts made on their
behalf. The following case is an illustration. It is taken from the Twelfth
Occasional Paper of the Church of England Scripture Readers Association:-
"--- (cabman), whose case I before reported on, is now so far restored to health as to enable him to follow his employment. When he was first able to do so, he had great difficulty in procuring any; but that being accomplished, another presented itself. In the days of weakness and pain he had openly declared himself on the Lord's side, by partaking of the sacrament, and vowed from thenceforth he would lead the life of a Christian, and let his light shine before men; but how was this to be accomplished? If he took a cab, the master did not understand letting his beast rest in compliance with God's command; but I am happy to say that, without any prospect of assistance, he has hitherto rested on the Lord's-day, and has paid Ss. to be allowed to do so. To those who 'seek first the kingdom of God and [-194-] his righteousness,' all needful things are promised. The woman told me to-day how rejoiced her husband was that God had strengthened him to put into practice that which he had resolved, trusting to him so to command his blessing, that the remaining 6 days might prove sufficient to maintain his family.
Cases of Usefulness recorded by the Cab Missionary of the London City Mission, last Year.
The following 4 cases of usefulness, recorded by the cab
missionary of the London City Mission last year, illustrate the vast importance
of such an agency, especially devoted to this class of men.
Case 1.-Mr. ---, No. ---, --- yard, for 2 years placed himself under my instruction, and frequently have I seen him affected to tears. One morning he came to me in great distress of mind on account of his sins. I explained to him with much fulness the Gospel of Christ, and especially the doctrine of the atonement. Some time after this he found peace through believing. He attends the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Cumming, and lately he has become a member of a Christian Young Men's Association in the City, and bids fair to become an eminent disciple of the Lord. He drives his father's cab, and uses a stand, which for years had been admitted by the cabmen to be the worst in London, for the stands differ as much as the various localities of the poor. According to the old proverb,-
'Birds of a feather
Will flock together.'
Many of the men of this stand lived in the numerous courts close by with wicked women. I believe formerly they dreaded my coming on the stand. At one time they threatened to knock me down, and at another time to drive over me, but finding I was not to be thwarted from my duty [-195-] they then tried to shun me, and would leave me in possession of their cabs. 'The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth.' For the last 12 months Mr. --- has boldly confessed Christ on the stand, and I believe he has done more good than 20 policemen. It is now admitted without fear of contradiction that this is the most improved stand in London.
"Case 2. - Mr. ---, No. ---, --- street, has become converted to God through the Divine blessing on my labours, and his wife, who formerly opposed him, has also since become converted to God. I frequently see them going to John- street Baptist Chapel in company. It has pleased the Lord to place this man as waterman on another of the City stands. The class of men that use this stand are different altogether from those who use the former, but they are equally injurious to society, having among them two intelligent Infidels, who use all the means in their power to turn the Word of God into a lie. I once visited one of them who was sick, but he ridiculed all I said, and made use of awful expressions with reference to the day of judgment. For a time I appeared to go on the stand only to be made a laughing-stock of, and for a time Mr. --- shared no better lot. But his mild temper and Christian consistency have put to silence ungodly men, and they have been constrained to acknowledge to me that my visits are doing good. We are now quite masters of the stand.
"Case 3.- Mr. ---, No. ---, was a so-called Latter-day Saint, but at the same time a great drunkard. He rejected my tract, and prejudiced the minds of the other men against me, being waterman at the largest stand in London. In the neighbourhood of the Opera-house he possessed great influence over the men, and made six proselytes. One of them was as great a fanatic as himself, and has since run away from his wife, and robbed his best friends of about sixty pounds. Ten months ago I went to see a sick cabman, and while [-196-] there Mr. --- came in. To prevent disturbance, I commenced reading the 15th chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, explained the nature of true repentance, prayed, and left the house. Three days afterwards I had a note, which informed me that Mr. --- wished to see me. I called accordingly, and was happy soon to discover that the chapter I read had sunk deep into his heart. He at once saw his error, abandoned his Mormonism, and succeeded in inducing his proselytes to do so also. He also became a sober man, and an example to the stand. This stand is used by many bad characters from Westminster, owing to its being so close to theatres. I trust soon to see it raised, and respectable.
"Case 4.- --- --- No. ---, --- buildings, had been a notorious drunkard, and when drunk he was very insolent, and quite a nuisance to the shops in Farringdon-street, so that he lost his license. I had frequently spoken to hint on the subject, but he regarded my words as an idle tale. Hearing he was ill, I went to see him. My first instructions had not fallen to the ground. As the tears ran down his cheeks, he said, 'Oh, Sir, I fear I shall drop into hell!' I regularly visited him, and another man, who died in the next room; and gave him a Bible and suitable instruction. He was soon able to get out. I induced him to attend the Meeting held by the missionary of the district, who afterwards visited him. He has got his license again, is now driving, and is quite a reformed character, abstaining altogether from intoxicating drink. I consider him under the power of the Spirit of God.
Great Importance of an Addition of Missionaries to Cabmen - Facility of its Accomplishment, and Concluding Appeal.
What dispassionate reader can fail, in reading these short
extracts, to perceive the benefit which even one cab missionary, by the Divine
blessing, has accomplished? If, instead [-197-] of
one, four or six had been employed, how much more decisive might have been, and
in all probability would have been, the benefit! And how small would have been
the cost of this, as contrasted with the result ! How easily might it have
been done ! About 400l. a-year would have been sufficient. And what a trifle is
such a sum for such an object! The per-centage of such a sum on the amount
expended in fares, is such a fraction that it would be scarcely worthy of
Lady collectors would probably find few objects in the promotion of which they would be likely to be more successful. For the claim for aid could not but be admitted by all their friends who are in the habit of availing themselves of the accommodation of these vehicles, and who must have observed for themselves the great need which their drivers have of religious counsel. Those who deprive the cabman of his Sunday and his religious privileges to drive them to church or chapel, must also surely see that the cabman's religious condition deserves their sympathy and aid. And to how many gentlemen, who almost daily ride in cabs for purposes of business or pleasure, might an eloquent appeal be made by fair readers, whose influence and whose power of persuasion and supplication are so great. The earnest desire and prayer to God is offered that this chapter may be made the means of stirring up a much greater concern for this somewhat ill-used and decidedly neglected, but most important and constantly increasing class of men, on whose moral and religious condition, moreover, the public at large, for their own safety and comfort, are so much concerned. The Christian public, in particular, surely only need to know the greatness of the evil and the easy application of a remedy, to apply that remedy without further delay, in sure dependance on the Divine blessing.