North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   And yet Washington has been
a failure.  It is commerce that makes great cities, and commerce has
refused to back - Page 3
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And Yet Washington Has Been A Failure.

It is commerce that makes great cities, and commerce has refused to back the general's choice.

New York and Philadelphia, without any political power, have become great among the cities of the earth. They are beaten by none except by London and Paris. But Washington is but a ragged, unfinished collection of unbuilt broad streets, as to the completion of which there can now, I imagine, be but little hope.

Of all places that I know it is the most ungainly and most unsatisfactory: I fear I must also say the most presumptuous in its pretensions. There is a map of Washington accurately laid down; and taking that map with him in his journeyings, a man may lose himself in the streets, not as one loses one's self in London, between Shoreditch and Russell Square, but as one does so in the deserts of the Holy Land, between Emmaus and Arimathea. In the first place no one knows where the places are, or is sure of their existence, and then between their presumed localities the country is wild, trackless, unbridged, uninhabited, and desolate. Massachusetts Avenue runs the whole length of the city, and is inserted on the maps as a full-blown street, about four miles in length. Go there, and you will find yourself not only out of town, away among the fields, but you will find yourself beyond the fields, in an uncultivated, undrained wilderness. Tucking your trowsers up to your knees you will wade through the bogs, you will lose yourself among rude hillocks, you will be out of the reach of humanity.

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