North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   It is to be
remarked that nobody in Washington is proud of Washington, or of
anything in it.  If the - Page 25
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It Is To Be Remarked That Nobody In Washington Is Proud Of Washington, Or Of Anything In It.

If the Smithsonian Institution were at New York or at Boston, one would have a different story to tell.

There has been an attempt made to raise at Washington a vast obelisk to the memory of Washington - the first in war and first in peace, as the country is proud to call him. This obelisk is a fair type of the city. It is unfinished - not a third of it having as yet been erected - and in all human probability ever will remain so. If finished, it would be the highest monument of its kind standing on the face of the globe; and yet, after all, what would it be even then as compared with one of the great pyramids? Modern attempts cannot bear comparison with those of the old world in simple vastness. But in lieu of simple vastness, the modern world aims to achieve either beauty or utility. By the Washington monument, if completed, neither would be achieved. An obelisk with the proportions of a needle may be very graceful; but an obelisk which requires an expanse of flat-roofed, sprawling buildings for its base, and of which the shaft shall be as big as a cathedral tower, cannot be graceful. At present some third portion of the shaft has been built, and there it stands. No one has a word to say for it. No one thinks that money will ever again be subscribed for its completion.

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