Extract from South Africa (1878). Vol. II, Ch. IV

Thoughts provoked by the new town of Praetoria.

To those who have never seen a city thus struggling into birth it is difficult to make it intelligible. The old faults of old towns have been well understood and thoroughly avoided. The old town began with a simple cluster of houses in close contiguity, because no more than that was wanted. As the traffic of the day was small, no provision was made for broad spaces. If a man could pass a man, or a horse a horse,—or at most a cart a cart,—no more was needed. Of sanitary laws nothing was known. Air and water were taken for granted. Then as people added themselves to people, as the grocer came to supply the earlier tanner, the butcher the grocer, the merchant tailor his three forerunners, and as the schoolmaster added himself to them to teach their children, house was adjoined to house and lane to lane, till a town built itself after its own device, and such a London and such a Paris grew into existence as we who are old have lived to see pulled down within the period of our own lives. There was no foresight and a great lack of economy in this old way of city building.

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