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Roman Roads

THE magnificence of the Romans in their public edifices, infinitely surpassed that of the last ages. The sole inspection of their Roads is a most convincing proof. These Roads set out from the column erected in the middle of Rome, and extended themselves to the remotest borders of this vast Empire, for the convenience and the expedition of those Legions which had subjugated so many nations. These Roads, of which some still remain, were high, broad, solid, and in several places branched out into great squares, which the subverting hand of Time seems yet to respect. Our Roads, on the contrary, are in a variety of places in so pitiful a condition, that three or four days of rain frequently interrupt the intercourse of commerce, and delay the journeys of the best equipages.

All this is lamentably true; we need blush at the Romans possessing more magnificent Roads than ourselves: we, who emulate them in all the ruin of their luxury; besides, they never paid so much Turnpike-money as we do.