Ballads exemplifying the first half of the present Century would be incomplete without some mention of coaching. It was essentially a horsey age, for railways were not, at least during the first quarter, the first (Stockton and Darlington) being opened September 27, 1825, so that people were obliged to rely on horses for their means of locomotion to any distance. Great improvement had been made in the construction of the stage-coaches, and they were very well horsed; in fact, with the exception of their being larger, they were very much like those which now run to Brighton, Guildford, etc.
Bob Logic, who is supposed to have written the subjoined ballad, was the companion of Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorn, whose pranks were so graphically described by Pierce Egan in his “Life in London.” The George Shillibeer who is sung in the last verse was a large coach proprietor, even letting out hearses and mourning-coaches.Nay, almost everything on wheels. To him is due the introduction of the Omnibus, the first of which ran from the Yorkshire Stingo, Marylebone Road, to the Bank of England, on July 4, 1829.
BOB LOGIC’S DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW BRIGHTON DILIGENCE FOR INSIDE PASSENGERS ONLY
Bob Logic’s my name, to Brighton I’ve been,
I don’t mean to tell you of all I have seen,
But the New Diligence is so much to my mind,
That to sing in its praise I am fully inclined.
Tippy Jack, whom we all knew, a trump in his day,
Once set off to Brighton, to figure away,
But his gig was upset, so let persons of sense,
Book for Brighton their place in the New Diligence.
There’s nothing so sure, as that pleasure they’ll find,
Secure at all seasons from weather and wind,
And each Goodman will see, when the blasts bitter blow,
The passengers are all secured from the Snow.
For they’re all inside placesno drenching with wet,
In safety and comfort the company set;
As in six hours time they in Brighton arrive,
I am sure that no pleasure can equal the drive.
The Coupé the first in description must be,
This, in English, means Chariot, and will just hold three;
Here a lord, with his lady, and daughter may ride,
As in their own carriage, in splendour and pride.
The next is the Coach, this is fitted for six,
And here is the place where Bob Logic would fix.
In company such as he wishes to be,
Obliging and civil, good-natured and free.
And then comes the Omnibus, four on each side,
Hold you secure in all weathers they ride,
And if it were possible once to upset,
I cannot imagine what harm they could get.
How different the time, when on the outside,
You held fast by the rail, if you went for a ride,
And the loss of a lynch pin, or crack of a spoke,
Was the too certain signal to have your neck broke.
As economy now is the rage of the day,
One Guinea a seat is the price of Coupé,
Sixteen shillings the fare in the Coach large and fine,
And the price in the Omni, twelve namesakes of mine.
’Tis my fate to suggest, so I’ll just give a hint,
As I mean that my song should be put into print,
The new diligenceConstitution to name,
And King, Lords, and Commons each part of the same.
Should their majesties then wish to come up to town,
In prime style they’d be at St. James’s set down,
If they take the Coupé, and Lords take the coach,
With the Commons I would in the Omni approach.