and <all> by virtue of a feeble human voice

gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,

One sentence from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain.

"The fertile plains of Texas; the vast basin of the Mississippi, from its frozen northern springs to the sultry borders of the Gulf; from the woody ridges of the Alleghanies to the bare peaks of the Rocky Mountains—a region of savannas and forests, sun-cracked deserts and grassy prairies, watered by a thousand rivers, ranged by a thousand warlike tribes, passed beneath the scepter of the Sultan of Versailles; and all by virtue of a feeble human voice, inaudible at half a mile."

What does all refer to? What it would be if it had been written as a full sentence (and all....).

Thank you

Gil
 
  • gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    It means that everything came into being because of the feeble human voice. inaudible at half a mile. I would need some following context to make real sense of this.
    Following that is a new chapter which goes <<--->>
    I think it will help by including more context.
    A few more days swept swiftly by, and La Salle stood in the shadow of his confiscating cross, at the meeting of the waters from Delaware, and from Itaska, and from the mountain ranges close upon the Pacific, with the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, his task finished, his prodigy achieved. Mr. Parkman, in closing his fascinating narrative, thus sums up:'On that day, the realm of France received on parchment a stupendous accession. The fertile plains of Texas; the vast basin of the Mississippi, from its frozen northern springs to the sultry borders of the Gulf; from the woody ridges of the Alleghanies to the bare peaks of the Rocky Mountains—a region of savannas and forests, sun-cracked deserts and grassy prairies, watered by a thousand rivers, ranged by a thousand warlike tribes, passed beneath the scepter of the Sultan of Versailles; and all by virtue of a feeble human voice, inaudible at half a mile.'

    Thank you anyway
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The meaning is that La Salle had planted his cross at, I take it, the Mississippi delta and had declared that that river and all the area of its basin were now the property of France.

    Parkman comments on the paradox that that declaration could only be heard where it was spoken, but it transferred an entire subcontinental region into French ownership at a stroke. That one feeble voice had somehow grasped hold of a quarter of a continent.
    What does all refer to? What it would be if it had been written as a full sentence (and all....)
    'and all that had been done by virtue of one feeble voice'.
     
    Last edited:

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    The meaning is that La Salle had planted his cross at, I take it, the Mississippi delta and had declared that that river and all the area of its basin were now the property of France.

    Twain comments on the paradox that that declaration could only be heard where it was spoken, but it transferred an entire subcontinental region into French ownership at a stroke. That one feeble voice had somehow grasped hold of a quarter of a continent.

    'and all that had been done by virtue of one feeble voice'.
    Thank you so much.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top