Was It Not Well To
Lay Down Fine Avenues And Broad Streets, So That Future Citizens
Might Find A City Well Prepared To Their Hand?
There is no doubt much in such an argument, but its correctness must
be tested by its success.
When a man marries it is well that be
should make provision for a coming family. But a Benedict, who
early in his career shall have carried his friends with considerable
self-applause through half a dozen nurseries, and at the end of
twelve years shall still be the father of one rickety baby, will
incur a certain amount of ridicule. It is very well to be prepared
for good fortune, but one should limit one's preparation within a
reasonable scope. Two miles by one might, perhaps, have done for
the skeleton sketch of a new city. Less than half that would
contain much more than the present population of Washington; and
there are, I fear, few towns in the Union so little likely to enjoy
any speedy increase.
Three avenues sweep the whole length of Washington: Virginia Avenue,
Pennsylvania Avenue, and Massachusetts Avenue. But Pennsylvania
Avenue is the only one known to ordinary men, and the half of that
only is so known. This avenue is the backbone of the city, and
those streets which are really inhabited cluster round that half of
it which runs westward from the Capitol. The eastern end, running
from the front of the Capitol, is again a desert. The plan of the
city is somewhat complicated.
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