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Document 66 p22

day before it happened; he should have thought it utterly impossible in
Nature; that a Bridge so founded, and defended, could have been brought
down by any one Flood, without some previous Attack upon it, that
shewed Symptoms of Failure; And therefore of this Nothing could
have convinced this Deponent, but the Event itself; which having
Actually come to pass, he now sees in a light so strong that it
would be downright Folly in him to attempt the same thing a
second time.
(See the annexed additional Article in Stead of what follows)*
This Deponent can readily conceive it to be a very desirable
thing to that part of the County of Northumberland, and in Consequence
to the Magistrates themselves, that Hexham Bridge should be restored,
and it would be no less an agreeable thing, personally to this
Deponent, that should, though it was by the hand of another;
because it cannot be an agreeable thing to this Deponent that there
should be a single Work of his in the Course of upwards of 30 Years
successful Practice, that should remain a Monument to Posterity
of his failure in this single Instance: Yet however desirable the
Restitution of this Bridge may be to the County in General, and to
this Deponent in particular, he cannot prevail upon himself, to
enter upon, or advise to be entered upon, a Project that now has
every Appearance of being impracticable, with respect to its Perman
-ency. This Deponent entered upon the Project before because there
were not, nor could have been any Facts ascertained that could have
shewn it to be impracticable: but on the contrary it appeared to him
in the light of a very practicable Scheme; that could be executed at a

Note: Mr Smeaton's Replies to Interrogatories p22

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Transcribed by CTW and RMS