I imagine that they think him stupid, unjust, particular about unnecessary trifles, and always checking them needlessly.
But his business is to get the coach along without upsetting it. He is on the box & he sees more than anybody else. He is not responsible for the obstacles in the road and if he could regulate all the traffic he could make things easy all round.
But alas he is limited to the obscure & ignoble duty of steering his own vehicle to the best of his power.
Bishop of London to Fr Henry Westall, 3 April 1900.
“True, My Lord,” Mr Westall might have replied, “but in a fog the coachman, from his box, sees no further than anyone else can, while the horses (poor unreasoning beasts) can at least feel the solid ground under their feet,
and sometimes their instinct will lead them safely home.”
W.Scott, "An 'advanced' view of the 'Church Crisis'"
Nineteenth Century, April 1901, p 692.