Sunday, March 13, 2011

"...that frail breastwork of earth..."

Before I forget, I wanted to post another quick excerpt from Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi that I thought was interesting in light of not-too-long-past events. This is from chapter 41, "The Metropolis of the South."
The approaches to New Orleans were familiar; general aspects were unchanged. When one goes flying through London along a railway propped in the air on tall arches, he may inspect miles of upper bedrooms through the open windows, but the lower half of the houses is under his level and out of sight. Similarly, in high-river stage, in the New Orleans region, the water is up to the top of the enclosing levee-rim, the flat country behind it lies low--representing the bottom of a dish--and as the boat swims along, high on the flood, one looks down upon the houses and into the upper windows. There is nothing but that frail breastwork of earth between the people and destruction.
Written more than 100 years ago.

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