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WHEN the state of a society has arrived at a high degree of industry and wealth, so many persons, and such quantities of goods, are set in motion, for the purpose of administering to its business and its luxuries, that it becomes of the greatest importance to construct the public roads in such a manner as to admit of travelling with rapidity and safety, and of reducing the cost of the carriage of goods to the lowest possible point.

To explain how these objects can be most effectually secured is the purpose of the following pages.

The measures necessary to be taken for affording the means of travelling with rapidity and


safety, and of transporting goods at low rates of carriage, form an essential part of the domestic economy of every people. The making of roads, in point of fact, is fundamentally essential to bring about the first change that every rude country must undergo in emerging from a condition of poverty and barbarism. It is, therefore, one of the most important duties of every government to take care that such laws be enacted, and such means provided, as are requisite for the making and maintaining of well-constructed roads into and throughout every portion of the territory under its authority.

M. Storch most correctly says, that, "after giving protection to property and person, a government can bestow on a nation no greater benefit than the improvement of its harbours, canals, and roads."

Speaking of roads, the Abbé Reynal justly remarks, "Let us travel over all the countries of the earth, and whenever we shall find no facility of travelling from a city to a town, or from a village to a hamlet, we may pronounce the people to be barbarians."

It has been well said by a writer in the first volume of the Communications to the Board of

Cours d'Economie Politique, vol. i. p. 188.

Agriculture, that "the conveniencies and beneficial consequences which result from a free and easy communication between different parts of a country are so various, the advantages of them so generally and so extensively felt by every description of individuals from the highest to the lowest, that no labour or expense should be spared in providing them. Roads, canals, and navigable rivers, may be justly considered as the veins and arteries through which all improvements flow. How many places in almost every country might be rendered doubly valuable, if access to them were practicable and easy!"

Adam Smith says, "Good roads, canals, and navigable rivers, by diminishing the expense of carriage, put the remote parts of a country nearly on a level with those in the neighbourhood of a town; they are, upon that account, the greatest of all improvements."

The establishing generally throughout a country of perfect roads is an object of no small importance in regard to public economy. In proportion as roads are level and hard, there will be a saving of horse labour; fewer horses will be required; they will last longer, and a cheaper description of horse may be employed; less food will be consumed, and fewer servants will be wanted. In consequence of this reduction

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