Monday, May 28, 2012

"Houses were knocked down; streets broken
through and stopped; deep pits and trenches
dug in the ground; enormous heaps of earth
and clay thrown up; buildings that were
undermined and shaking,
propped by great beams of wood.

Here, a chaos of carts, overthrown and jumbled together,
lay topsy- turvy at the bottom of a steep unnatural hill;
there, confused treasures of iron soaked and rusted
in something that had accidentally become a pond.

Everywhere were bridges that led nowhere;
thoroughfares that were wholly impassable;

Babel towers of chimneys, wanting half their height;
temporary wooden houses and enclosures, in the most unlikely
situations; carcases of ragged tenements, and fragments
of unfinished walls and arches, and piles of scaffolding,
and wildernesses of bricks, and giant forms
of cranes, and tripods straddling above nothing.

There were a hundred thousand shapes and substances
of incompleteness, wildly mingled out of their places, upside down,
burrowing in the earth, aspiring in the air, mouldering
in the water, and unintelligible as any dream.

Hot springs and fiery eruptions, the usual attendants upon
earthquakes, lent their contributions of confusion to the scene.

Boiling water hissed and heaved within dilapidated walls;
whence, also, the glare and roar of flames came issuing forth;
and mounds of ashes blocked up rights of way,
and wholly changed the law and custom of the neighbourhood."

(Charles Dickens, Dombey & Son)

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