Montesquieu

Men have through their appli­ca­tion and good laws made the world a more accom­mo­da­ting place to host them. We see rivers flo­wing where there were lakes and mar­shes : that is an asset which nature did not make, but which nature main­tains. When the Persians were mas­ters of Asia, they allo­wed anyone who could bring spring water to some place which until then had no water to bene­fit from it for five gene­ra­tions1 ; and since there are many streams that flow from Mount Taurus, they spa­red no expense to bring water from there. Today, without kno­wing where it might be coming from, they find it in their fields and gar­dens.

Thus, as des­truc­tive nations do damage that out­lasts them, there are indus­trious nations that bring bene­fits that do not end even with them.

Polybius, book X. [Adaptation of a passage from Du Ryer translation, Les Histoires de Polybe avec les fragments du même auteur, contenant la plupart des ambassades (Paris : Augustin Courbe, 1655, p. 492.]