along the road

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: ANTIQUITIES AND AMENITIES I Had been travelling in Northumberland, and I had spent a glorious morning, with a bright sun and a cold wind, on the Roman Wall. It is, indeed, a thing to stir the imagination. It runs over hill and dale by crag and moor, for sixty miles, from sea to sea. It is a double line of fortification, a huge stone wall to the north, and a great earth-work to the south. Inside the lines, the strip varies much in breadth. Every three miles lies a large fortified camp, with towers and guard-rooms, praetorium and barracks. At every mile is a smaller fort, with guard-towers every three hundred yards. Many of these are gone, having been used to build farms and walls and to make roads. But many of them exist and have been excavated. In fact the whole place was one vast camp, sixty miles long and a few hundred yards broad; no one knows who built it. It may have been Hadrian, it may have been Severus. It has been sacked at least once, and repaired again; it was meant, no doubt, to keep off the warlike and ruthless Picts, and to make the south safe from their forays. I had spent the morning at Borcovicus, a great camp on the very bleakest and barest part of the moors. It has all been excavated, and one can see the colonnade where the daily orders were read, the great gateways, with the pivot- lioles of the gates, the guard-rooms, warmed in some cases by hot air, the elaborate arrangements for getting water, and for the disposal of sewage. The custodian had just disinterred a fine bit of sculpture, the bare feet of a Neptune, one resting on a dolphin's back. The whole place gave one the sense of a busy and urgent life, lived at high pressure, and with a stern purpose. The walls are of massive quarried stone, and the labour which must have been involved in quarryin...
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