Life On The Mississippi By Mark Twain




















































































































































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The Mississippi does not alter its locality by cut-offs alone: it is
always changing its habitat BODILY - is always - Page 5
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The Mississippi Does Not Alter Its Locality By Cut-Offs Alone:

It is always changing its habitat BODILY - is always moving bodily SIDEWISE.

At Hard Times, La., the river is two miles west of the region it used to occupy. As a result, the original SITE of that settlement is not now in Louisiana at all, but on the other side of the river, in the State of Mississippi. NEARLY THE WHOLE OF THAT ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED MILES OF OLD MISSISSIPPI RIVER WHICH LA SALLE FLOATED DOWN IN HIS CANOES, TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO, IS GOOD SOLID DRY GROUND NOW. The river lies to the right of it, in places, and to the left of it in other places.

Although the Mississippi's mud builds land but slowly, down at the mouth, where the Gulfs billows interfere with its work, it builds fast enough in better protected regions higher up: for instance, Prophet's Island contained one thousand five hundred acres of land thirty years ago; since then the river has added seven hundred acres to it.

But enough of these examples of the mighty stream's eccentricities for the present - I will give a few more of them further along in the book.

Let us drop the Mississippi's physical history, and say a word about its historical history - so to speak. We can glance briefly at its slumbrous first epoch in a couple of short chapters; at its second and wider-awake epoch in a couple more; at its flushest and widest-awake epoch in a good many succeeding chapters; and then talk about its comparatively tranquil present epoch in what shall be left of the book.

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