Q. Horatii Flacci Poëmata. The Works of Horace, with explanatory notes, selected from the larger edition. By C. Anthon. [Edited by J. Boyd.]

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Dec 31, 1835
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12
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As “Paris is France,” so Seoul may be said to be Korea, for it is the centre from which nearly every thing for the country either originates or is disseminated. Officers ruling over country districts usually have their “house in town,” and expect to spend a portion, at least, of their time within the walls of the capital. While some of the provincial capitals are said to contain more people and to be more celebrated for certain reasons, Seoul is the home of the King and the Mecca of his faithful subjects. A description of this city may, therefore, answer for all. The capital is a city of some 300,000 inhabitants, half of whom, perhaps, live in the extensive suburbs without the walls. It lies in a basin of granite sand, surrounded by high mountains and their projecting ridges, over which climbs the high, thick, encircling wall of masonry; pierced at convenient points by massive, pagoda-roofed gates, amply strong enough for defense against the weapons of war in use at the time of building this great relic of seclusion.

The city is traversed by broad avenues from which runs a perfect labyrinth of narrow streets. Originally none of these streets were less than twenty feet wide, and some of the avenues leading up to the imposing gates of the palaces are even now a good two hundred feet in width. But the streets have all been encroached upon by the little temporary thatched booths of the petty retail dealers, so that, with the exception of the approaches to the palaces, the line is broken, the streets made tortuous, and only here and there a broad open spot indicates the original width of the thoroughfare. Originally every street was furnished with itd sewer—open in the smaller streets, while the avenues were drained by great covered sewers of stonework. Occasionally the proprietor of one of the little temporary booths would put a foundation under his structure, bridging over the sewer, until now the streets have in many cases become mere crooked alleys, and but for the bountiful rains, the excellent natural drainage, and the character of the soil, the mortality would be very great instead of being less than in ordinary American cities. No attempt is made towards street decoration, as that would attract the attention of thieves. The magnificent grounds of a nobleman, with their artificial lakes, flower gardens, water-worn pillars of ancient rock and quaintly twisted trees, may be enclosed by a row of tumble-down, smoke-begrimed servant-quarters that would never indicate the beauty to be found hidden within its forbidding exterior.

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