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of the gauge. This section is taken through the line ef of fig. 8. In this figure the position of the square iron bolt, or screw pin, is more plainly seen, and also the washer placed under the thumb screw. Three of these bolts pass through the horizontal bar, fig. 8., exactly three inches above the line A C; the other, seen at d, is only two inches above the same line.

Levels for laying out slopes are best made of a bar of wood, three inches deep, one inch thick, and six feet long: on the centre near the middle of the rod, a triangular piece of wood of the same thickness is nailed; the sides of this triangular piece are so formed, that when the rod is placed upon a slope of one to two or one to three, a small pocket level placed on one side of the triangle will be horizontal, and the bubble will remain in the centre.

Ring Gauges.

Ring gauges for ascertaining the size of the broken stones are extremely useful. A ring of this description is represented in Plate VII. fig. 17263

CHAPTER XII.

ROAD LEGISLATION.

Turnpike System.

According as the trade and wealth of England increased, the roads became wholly unfit for the traffic on them, and this led to the introduction of turnpike tolls and boards of trustees for collecting the tolls and superintending the roads.

The legislature proceeded on a principle that was a perfectly just one, and, at the same time, in regard to its efficacy as a means to an end, one in every way judicious and right. For nothing can be more just than to make those who use the roads find the money for maintaining them, and no plan for obtaining such a large amount of money as is necessary for maintaining them in good condition could have been adopted more" effective for that object. If rates on land had been resorted to, the measure would inevitably have failed, because the landowners would, beyond all doubt, have preferred bad roads and low rates to good ones and high rates: in point of fact, very indifferent roads would have answered all their local purposes. If the roads had been vested in the hands of government, it may safely be said, that this plan would also have failed, for government would never have been able to obtain the consent of Parliament to

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vote upwards of a million and a half a year for those roads only which now are turnpike roads. It is therefore to the turnpike system of management that England is indebted for her superiority over other countries with respect to roads.

The legislature, by providing for the levying of tolls, and giving powers to persons willing to come forward as subscribers, commissioners, or trustees, and act together for the purpose of making new or improving old roads, adopted the wisest principle for securing an abundance of them.

Had the legislature depended on the public treasury or on rates on property for funds, or had it refused to incorporate those persons who have executed the duties of turnpike trusts, and given the management of the roads to the government, or left them wholly with the parishes, this country could never have reached the degree of wealth and prosperity to which it has arrived, for want of proper means of inland communication.

It must be clear to every one who has carefully examined this subject, that nothing but leaving the management of the roads to those persons who live in their neighbourhood would ever have induced the people of England to pay, as they now do, a revenue, arising from turnpike tolls, to the amount of 1,400,000/. a year; for, although tolls are in every respect fair and proper for the purpose to which they are applied, and although government, by employing scientific engineers, might have expended the produce with greater skill than country gentlemen, the hostility to pay them, had they been wholly at the disposal of government, would no doubt have prevented their being generally introduced, and the making of useful roads over the whole country so universally as they have been made under the established system.

It should be remembered, that turnpike roads owe their origin, in many instances, to private subscriptions of considerable amount; and, in every such case, the main inducement to subscribe must have been that of entrusting to the subscribers the management of the funds, and giving them corporate powers.

The same principle of association has led to the construction of the canals, the docks, the great bridges, and all the most useful public works of the country; and it is not conceivable how such large funds as have been subscribed for making new lines, or for placing parish roads under turnpike trusts, could have been obtained as have been obtained, had not the legislature acted on this principle.

The following statement has been taken from "An abstract of the income and expenditure of the trusts of England and Wales, from 1st January 1835 to 31st December 1835, pursuant to the act 3 & 4 Will. IV. cap. 80." [Par. papers, session 1837, No. 328.]

£

"Revenue received from tolls - 1,469,317 Money borrowed on security of tolls 165,474 Manual labour ... - 397,665 Team labour - - - 134,861 £

Materials for surface repairs - 215,835 Interest of debt - - - 301,508 Improvements - - - 211,808

Debt paid off - 132,983 Bonded mortgage debt - 7,116,702

Number of trusts, 1,111."

It would appear from this statement, that the management of the finances of the trusts was improving. Against the sum borrowed in 1835, of 165,474/., is be set the sum expended in improvements, of 211,808/., and the sum paid in reducing debt, of 132,983/., leaving a surplus of 179,317/., arising from care and economy. The great change for the better, within a few years, that has taken place in the manner in which trustees attend to their duties, has introduced an improved system of management, which will, no doubt, lead to the gradual reduction of the debt. In those cases where neither principal nor interest can be paid, there does not appear to be any just claim on the public at large, upon the part of the suffering creditors. Many of them have received compensation for their money by the improvement of their estates, and the others stand in the same position as all creditors do who lend money on speculation.

But although it is unquestionably true, that it is to the turnpike system that the abundance of useful roads is owing, it must at the same time be observed, that great errors have been committed in carrying the system into operation. For however numerous and however useful the roads may

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