North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 

 -   At the present moment it is
almost all open space.  There is also a certain nobility about the
proposed dimensions - Page 10
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At The Present Moment It Is Almost All Open Space.

There is also a certain nobility about the proposed dimensions of the avenues and squares.

Desirous of praising it in some degree, I can say that the design is grand. The thing done, however, falls so infinitely short of that design, that nothing but disappointment is felt. And I fear that there is no look-out into the future which can justify a hope that the design will be fulfilled. It is therefore a melancholy place. The society into which one falls there consists mostly of persons who are not permanently resident in the capital; but of those who were permanent residents I found none who spoke of their city with affection. The men and women of Boston think that the sun shines nowhere else; and Boston Common is very pleasant. The New Yorkers believe in Fifth Avenue with an unswerving faith; and Fifth Avenue is calculated to inspire a faith. Philadelphia to a Philadelphian is the center of the universe; and the progress of Philadelphia, perhaps, justifies the partiality. The same thing may be said of Chicago, of Buffalo, and of Baltimore. But the same thing cannot be said in any degree of Washington. They who belong to it turn up their noses at it. They feel that they live surrounded by a failure. Its grand names are as yet false, and none of the efforts made have hitherto been successful. Even in winter, when Congress is sitting, Washington is melancholy; but Washington in summer must surely be the saddest spot on earth.

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