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R.M.S. Titanic (Hanson W. Baldwin, 1934)

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  • 8/3/2019 R.M.S. Titanic (Hanson W. Baldwin, 1934)


    R.M.S. Titanic 173



    The White Star liner Titanic, largest ship the world had ever

    known, sailed from Southampton on her maiden voyage to New

    York on April 10, 1912. The paint on her strakes1 was fair and

    bright; she was fresh from Harland and Wolff s Belfast yards,

    strong in the strength of her forty-six thousand tons of steel,

    bent, hammered, shaped, and riveted through the three years

    of her slow birth. A

    There was little fuss and fanfare at her sailing; her sister

    ship, the Olympicslightly smaller than the Titanichad been

    in service for some months and to her had gone the thunder of

    the cheers.

    But the Titanic needed no whistling steamers or shouting

    crowds to call attention to her superlative qualities. B Her

    bulk dwarfed the ships near her as longshoremen singled up

    her mooring lines and cast off the turns of heavy rope from the

    dock bollards.2 She was not only the largest ship afloat, but was

    believed to be the safest. Carlisle, her builder, had given her

    R.M.S. Titanic


    The R.M.S. Titanic was a giant luxury cruise ship that left

    Southampton, England, to sail to New York in April, 1912.

    The ship hit an iceberg and sunk. Around 1,500 people died.

    The following article from 1934 describes the tragedy. The

    author researched ships logs, interviews, and other records to

    write the article.

    1. strakes: single lines of metal plating extending the whole length of

    a ship.

    2. bollards (BAHL UHRDZ): strong posts on a pier or wharf for holding

    a ships mooring ropes.

    by Hanson W. Baldwin

    Word Study

    Look up the word superlative

    in the dictionary. Write at

    least two synonyms (words

    with similar meanings) for



    How long did it take to build

    the Titanic?



    R.M.S. Titanic by Hanson W. Baldwin from Harpers Magazine, January 1934. Copyright

    1934 by Hanson W. Baldwin. Reproduced by permission of Curtis Brown Ltd.

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    174 R.M.S. Titanic

    double bottos and had divided

    her hull into sixteen watertight

    coartents, which ade her,

    en thought, unsinkable. She had

    been built to be and had been

    described as a gigantic lifeboat. A

    Her designers dreas of a trile-

    screw3 giant, a luxurious, floating hotel, which could seed to

    New York at twenty-three knots, had been carefully translated

    fro bluerints and old loft lines at the Belfast yards into a

    living reality.

    The Titanics sailing fro Southaton, though quiet,

    was not wholly uneventful. As the liner oved slowly toward

    the end of her dock that Aril day, the surge of her assing

    sucked away fro the quay4 the steaer New York, oored just

    to seaward of the Titanics berth. There were shar cracks as the

    anila ooring lines of the New York arted under the strain.

    The frayed roes writhed and whistled through the air and

    snaed down aong the waving crowd on the ier; the New

    York swung toward the Titanics bow, was checked and dragged

    back to the dock barely in tie to avert a collision. Seaenuttered, thought it an oinous start. B

    Past Sithead and the Isle of Wight the Titanic steaed.

    She called at Cherbourg at dusk and then laid her course for

    Queenstown. At 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aril 11, she stood out

    of Queenstown harbor, screaing gulls soaring in her wake,

    with 2,201 ersonsen, woen, and childrenaboard.

    Occuying the Eire bedroos and Georgian suites of

    the first-class accoodations were any well-known enand woenColonel John Jacob Astor and his young bride;

    Major Archibald Butt, ilitary aide to President Taft, and his

    friend Frank D. Millet, the ainter; John B. Thayer, vice resident

    of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and Charles M. Hays, resident

    of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada; W. T. Stead, the English

    3. triple-screw: three-propellered.

    4. quay (KEE): dock.

    Word Study

    Ominous means suggesting

    evil or harm; threatening.

    It is in the same word family

    as omen. Find omen in a

    dictionary. What does it

    mean? How does its definition

    relate to the definition of



    What reasons did people

    have for thinking the

    Titanic was unsinkable?






    Ralph White/Corbis

  • 8/3/2019 R.M.S. Titanic (Hanson W. Baldwin, 1934)


    R.M.S. Titanic 175


    journlist; Jcques Futrelle, French novelist; H. B. Hrris,

    thetricl nger, nd Mrs. Hrris; Mr. nd Mrs. Isidor Strus;

    nd J. Bruce Isy, chirn nd nging director of the

    White Str Line.

    Down in the plin wooden cbins of the steerge clss

    were 706 iigrnts to the lnd of proise, nd trily stowed

    in the gret holds ws crgo vlued t $420,000: ok bes,

    sponges, wine, clbshes,5 nd n odd iscellny of the

    coon nd the rre.

    The Titanic took her deprture on Fstnet Light6 nd,

    heding into the night, lid her course for New York. She ws

    due t qurntine7 the following Wednesdy orning.

    Sundy dwned fir nd cler. The Titanic steed soothly

    towrd the west, fint streers of brownish soke triling

    fro her funnels. The purser held services in the sloon in

    the orning; on the steerge deck ft8 the iigrnts were

    plying ges nd Scotsn ws puffing The Cpbells Are

    Coing on his bgpipes in the idst of the upror. C

    At 9:00 a.m. essge fro the steer Croni sputtered

    into the wireless shck:


    Westbound steers report bergsgrowlers nd field ice 42 degrees N. fro 49 degrees to 51

    degrees W. 12th April.

    CoplientsBrr. D

    It ws cold in the fternoon; the sun ws brillint, but the

    Titanic, her screws turning over t seventy-five revolutions per

    inute, ws pproching the Bnks.9

    5. calabashes (KAL UHBASHUHZ): large smoking pipes made from thenecks of gourds.

    6. Fastnet Light: lighthouse at the southwestern tip of Ireland. After

    the Fastnet Light there is only open sea until the coast of North


    7. quarantine (KWAR UHNTEEN): place where a ship is held in port after

    arrival to determine whether its passengers and cargo are free of

    communicable diseases. Quarantine can also be used to mean the

    length of time a ship is held.

    8. aft: in the rear of a ship.

    9. Banks: Grand Banks, shallow waters near the southeast coast of


    Do you think the information

    in this paragraph is objective

    or subjective? Why?


    After having read this

    far, do you think that this

    entire selection is a primary

    or secondary source? Give a

    reason for your answer.




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    176 R.M.S. Titanic

    In the Marconi cabin10 Second Oerator Harold Bride,

    earhones claed on his head, was figuring accounts; he did

    not sto to answer when he heard MWL, Continental Morse

    for the nearby Leyland liner, Californian, calling the Titanic.

    The Californian had soe essage about three icebergs; he

    didnt bother then to take it down. A About 1:42 p.m. the

    rasing sark of those days soke again across the water. It

    was the Baltic, calling the Titanic, warning her of ice on the

    steaer track. Bride took the essage down and sent it u to

    the bridge.11 The officer-of-the-deck glanced at it; sent it to the

    bearded aster of the Titanic, Catain E. C. Sith,12 a veteran

    of the White Star service. It was lunchtie then; the catain,

    walking along the roenade deck, saw Mr. Isay, stoed,

    and handed hi the essage without coent. Isay read it,

    stuffed it in his ocket, told two ladies about the icebergs, and

    resued his walk. Later, about 7:15 p.m., the catain requested

    the return of the essage in order to ost it in the chart roo

    for the inforation of officers.

    Dinner that night in the Jacobean dining roo was gay.

    It was bitter on deck, but the night was cal and fine; the sky

    was oonless but studded with stars twinkling coldly in theclear air. B

    After dinner soe of the second-class assengers gathered

    in the saloon, where the Reverend Mr. Carter conducted a

    hyn singsong. It was alost ten oclock and the stewards

    were waiting with biscuits and coffee as the grou sang:

    O, hear us when we cry to Thee

    For those in eril on the sea.

    On the bridge Second Officer Lightollershort,stocky, efficientwas relieved at ten oclock by First Officer

    Murdoch. C Lightoller had talked with other officers about the

    roxiity of ice; at least five wireless ice warnings had reached

    the shi; lookouts had been cautioned to be alert; catains and

    10. Marconi cabin: room where messages were received and sent by radio.

    11. bridge: raised structure on a ship. The ship is controlled from the


    12. Smiths initials were actually E. J., not E. C.

    Based on context clues, or

    clues from the surrounding

    text, figure out which

    meaning of the word bitter

    is being used in this sentence

    and write it below.


    Why do you think Second

    Operator Bride didnt

    write down and pass along

    the message from the






    Is this description of Second

    Officer Lightoller subjective

    or objective? Give a reason

    to support your answer.


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    R.M.S. Titanic 177


    officers exected to reach the field at any tie after 9:30 p.m.

    At twenty-two knots, its seed unslackened, the Titanic lowed

    on through the night. D

    Lightoller left the darkened bridge to his relief and turned

    in. Catain Sith went to his cabin. The steerage was long since

    quiet; in the first and second cabins lights were going out; voices

    were growing still; eole were aslee. Murdoch aced back and

    forth on the bridge, eering out over the dark water, glancing

    now and then at the coass in front of Quarteraster Hichens

    at the wheel. E

    In the crows-nest, lookout Frederick Fleet and his artner,

    Leigh, gazed down at the water, still and unruffled in the di,

    starlit darkness. Behind and below the the shi, a white shadow

    with here and there a last winking light; ahead of the a dark

    and silent and cold ocean.

    There was a sudden clang. Dong-dong. Dong-dong.

    Dong-dong. Dong! The etal claer of the great shis bell

    struck out 11:30. Mindful of the warnings, Fleet strained his

    eyes, searching the darkness for the dreaded ice. But there were

    only the stars and the sea.

    In the wireless roo, where Phillis, first oerator, hadrelieved Bride, the buzz of the Californians set again crackled

    into the earhones:

    Californian: Say, old an, we are stuck here, surrounded

    by ice.

    Titanic: Shut u, shut u; kee out. I a talking to Cae

    Race; you are jaing y signals.

    Then, a few inutes laterabout 11:40 . . .


    Out of the dark she cae, a vast, di, white, onstrous shae,

    directly in the Titanics ath. For a oent Fleet doubted

    his eyes. But she was a deadly reality, this ghastly thing. F

    Frantically, Fleet struck three bellssoething dead ahead.

    He snatched the telehone and called the bridge:

    Word Study

    If youre not sure what


    examine the prefix un and

    think about what the root

    word slack means. Write a

    definition below.


    The author probably got

    this exchange between the

    Californian and the Titanic

    from a radio communication

    transcript (a written copy of

    something that was said).

    Would this be a primary or

    secondary source?





    Use context clues to

    determine the meaning

    of the word ghastly. Write

    the definition in your own



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    178 R.M.S. Titanic

    Iceberg! Right ahead!

    The first officer heard but did not stop to acknowledge the



    Hichens strained at the wheel; the bow swung slowly to

    port. The monster was almost upon them now.

    Murdoch leaped to the engine-room telegraph. Bells

    clanged. Far below in the engine room those bells struck the first

    warning. Danger! The indicators on the dial faces swung round

    to Stop! Then Full speed astern! A Frantically the engineers

    turned great valve wheels; answered the bridge bells . . .

    There was a slight shock, a brief scraping, a small list to

    port. Shell iceslabs and chunks of itfell on the foredeck.

    Slowly the Titanic stopped.

    Captain Smith hurried out of his cabin.

    What has the ship struck?

    Murdoch answered, An iceberg, sir. I hard-a-starboarded

    and reversed the engines, and I was going to hard-a-port around

    it, but she was too close. I could not do any more. I have closed

    the watertight doors.B

    Fourth Officer Boxhall, other officers, the carpenter, came

    to the bridge. The captain sent Boxhall and the carpenter below

    to ascertain the damage.

    A few lights switched on in the first and second cabins;

    sleepy passengers peered through porthole glass; some casually

    asked the stewards:

    Why have we stopped?

    I dont know, sir, but I dont suppose it is anything much.In the smoking room a quorum13 of gamblers and their prey

    were still sitting round a poker table; the usual crowd of kibitzers14

    looked on. They had felt the slight jar of the collision and had seen

    an eighty-foot ice mountain glide by the smoking-room windows,

    13. quorum (KWAWR UHM): number of people required for a particular

    activityin this case, for a game.

    14. kibitzers (KIHB IHTSUHRZ): talkative onlookers who often give

    unwanted advice.

    How did Murdoch try to

    avoid hitting the iceberg?


    Word Study

    Starboard, port, and astern

    are nautical termswords

    that are related to ships.

    Look up these words ina dictionary. Write their

    definitions below.





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    R.M.S. Titanic 179


    but the night was calm and clear, the Titanic was unsinkable;

    they hadnt bothered to go on deck.

    But far below, in the warren of passages on the starboard

    side forward, in the forward holds and boiler rooms, men

    could see that the Titanics hurt was mortal. C In No. 6 boiler

    room, where the red glow from the furnaces lighted up the

    naked, sweaty chests of coal-blackened firemen, water was

    pouring through a great gash about two feet above the floor

    plates. This was no slow leak; the ship was open to the sea;

    in ten minutes there were eight feet of water in No. 6. Long

    before then the stokers had raked the flaming fires out of the

    furnaces and had scrambled through the watertight doors in

    No. 5 or had climbed up the long steel ladders to safety. When

    Boxhall looked at the mailroom in No. 3 hold, twenty-four feet

    above the keel, the mailbags were already floating about in the

    slushing water. In No. 5 boiler room a stream of water spurted

    into an empty bunker. All six compartments forward of No. 4

    were open to the sea; in ten seconds the icebergs jagged claw

    had ripped a three-hundred-foot slash in the bottom of the

    great Titanic.15 D

    Reports came to the bridge; Ismay in dressing gown ranout on deck in the cold, still, starlit night, climbed up the bridge


    What has happened?

    Captain Smith: We have struck ice.

    Do you think she is seriously damaged?

    Captain Smith: Im afraid she is.

    Ismay went below and passed Chief Engineer William Bell,

    fresh from an inspection of the damaged compartments. Bellcorroborated the captains statement; hurried back down the

    15. An underwater expedition to the Titanic wreck in 1986 led by the

    explorer Dr. Robert Ballard revealed loosened or buckled seams in

    the ships hull but no three-hundred-foot gash. Ballard concluded

    that the collision of the ship with the iceberg caused the buckling

    of the seams and a separation of the hulls plates, which in turn

    allowed water to enter the ship and sink it. This theory explains why

    survivors said they barely felt the fatal collision when it occurred.

    Word Study

    The word mortalhas

    multiple meanings, and can

    be used as an adjective or a

    noun. In which way is it usedhere? What does the word

    mean in this sentence?


    Even though this article is

    objective, the facts arent

    always correct. Based on

    this footnote and the

    background information that

    was given, why do you think

    this is so?





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    180 R.M.S. Titanic

    glistening steel ladders to his duty. A Man after man followed

    himThomas Andrews, one of the ships designers, Archie Frost,

    the builders chief engineer, and his twenty assistantsmen who

    had no posts of duty in the engine room but whose traditions

    called them there.

    On deck, in corridor and stateroom, life flowed again.

    Men, women, and children awoke and questioned; orders were

    given to uncover the lifeboats; water rose into the firemens

    quarters; half-dressed stokers streamed up on deck. But the

    passengersmost of themdid not know that the Titanic was

    sinking. The shock of the collision had been so slight that some

    were not awakened by it; the Titanic was so huge that she must

    be unsinkable; the night was too calm, too beautiful, to think ofdeath at sea. B

    Captain Smith half ran to the door of the radio shack.

    Bride, partly dressed, eyes dulled with sleep, was standing behind

    Phillips, waiting.

    Send the call for assistance.

    The blue spark danced: CQDCQDCQDCQ16

    Miles away Marconi men heard. Cape Race heard it, and

    the steamships La Provence andMt. Temple.The sea was surging into the Titanics hold. At 12:20 the

    water burst into the seamens quarters through a collapsed

    fore-and-aft wooden bulkhead. Pumps strained in the engine

    roomsmen and machinery making a futile fight against the

    sea. Steadily the water rose.

    The boats were swung outslowly, for the deckhands

    were late in reaching their stations; there had been no boat drill,

    and many of the crew did not know to what boats they were

    assigned. Orders were shouted; the safety valves had lifted, and

    steam was blowing off in a great rushing roar. In the chart house

    Fourth Officer Boxhall bent above a chart, working rapidly with

    pencil and dividers.

    16. CQD: call by radio operators, inviting others to communicate

    with them.

    What are some reasons why

    none of the passengers knew

    the Titanic was sinking?





    Selection Vocabulary


    supported; upheld the

    truth of. Explain how Bell

    corroborated what thecaptain had said.


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    R.M.S. Titanic 181


    12:25 a.m. Boxhlls position is sent out to fleet of vessels:

    Coe t once; we hve struck berg.

    To the Cunrder Carpathia (Arthur Henry Rostron, Mster,

    New York to Liverpool, fifty-eight iles wy): Its CQD, old

    n. Position 4146N.; 5014 W.

    The blue sprk dncing: Sinking; cnnot her for noise of


    12:30 a.m. The word is pssed: Woen nd children in

    the bots. Stewrds finish wking their pssengers below; life

    preservers re tied on; soe en sile t the precution. The

    Titanic is unsinkble. TheMt. Temple strts for the Titanic;

    the Carpathia, with double wtch in her stokeholds, rdios,

    Coing hrd. The CQD chnges the course of ny shipsbut

    not of one; the opertor of the Californian, nerby, hs just put

    down his erphones nd turned in.

    The CQD flshes over lnd nd se fro Cpe Rce to

    New York; newspper city roos lep to life nd presses whir.

    On the Titanic, wter creeps over the bulkhed between

    Nos. 5 nd 6 fireroos. She is going down by the hed; the

    engineersfighting losing bttlere forced bck foot by

    foot by the rising wter. Down the proende deck, HppyJock Hue, the bndsn, runs with his instruent.

    12:45 a.m. Murdoch, in chrge on the strbord side, eyes

    trgic, but cl nd cool, orders bot No. 7 lowered. C The

    woen hng bck; they wnt no bot ride on n ice-strewn

    se; the Titanic is unsinkble. The en encourge the,

    explin tht this is just precutionry esure: Well see you

    gin t brekfst. There is little confusion; pssengers stre

    slowly to the bot deck. In the steerge the iigrnts chtterexcitedly.

    A sudden shrp hiss streked flre ginst the night;

    Boxhll sends rocket towrd the sky. It explodes, nd

    prchute of white strs lights up the icy se. God! Rockets!

    The bnd plys rgtie.

    No. 8 is lowered, nd No. 5. Isy, still in dressing gown,

    clls for woen nd children, hndles lines, stubles in the

    Is this sentence about

    Murdoch subjective or

    objective, or both? Explain

    your answer.






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    182 R.M.S. Titanic

    wy of n officer, is told to get the hell out of here. Third

    Officer Pitn tkes chrge of No. 5; s he swings into the bot,

    Murdoch grsps his hnd. Goodbye nd good luck, old n.

    No. 6 goes over the side. There re only twenty-eight

    people in lifebot with cpcity of sixty-five. A

    A light stbs fro the bridge; Boxhll is clling in Morse

    flshes, gin nd gin, to strnge ship stopped in the ice j

    five to ten iles wy. Another rocket drops its shower of sprks

    bove the ice-strewn se nd the dying ship.

    1:00 a.m. Slowly the wter creeps higher; the fore

    ports of the Titanic re dipping into the se. Rope squeks

    through blocks; lifebots drop jerkily sewrd. Through the

    shouting on the decks coes the sound of the bnd plying


    The Millionires Specil leves the shipbot No. 1,

    with cpcity of forty people, crries only Sir Coso nd

    Ldy Duff Gordon nd ten others. Aft, the frightened ii-

    grnts ill nd jostle nd rush for bot. An officers fist flies

    out; three shots re fired in the ir, nd the pnic is quelled. . . .

    Four Chinese snek unseen into bot nd hide in the botto.

    1:20 a.m. Wter is coing into No. 4 boiler roo. Stokersslice nd shovel s wter lps bout their nklesste for the

    dynos, ste for the dncing sprk! As the wter rises, gret

    sh hoes rke the fling cols fro the furnces. Sfety vlves

    pop; the stokers retret ft, nd the wtertight doors clng shut

    behind the.

    The rockets fling their splendor towrd the strs. The

    bots re ore hevily loded now, for the pssengers know

    the Titanic is sinking. B Woen cling nd sob. The gretscrews ft re rising cler of the se. Hlf-filled bots re

    ordered to coe longside the crgo ports nd tke on ore

    pssengers, but the ports re never openednd the bots

    re never filled. Others pull for the steers light iles wy

    but never rech it; the lights dispper; the unknown ship

    stes off.

    The wter rises nd the bnd plys rgtie.

    Why did the lifeboats take

    more passengers as the

    night progressed?


    Think about what the

    atmosphere was like on

    the Titanic at this time,

    and remember what you

    read about the boat drills.Why do you think the

    lifeboats of the Titanic

    were let down without

    being totally full?






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    R.M.S. Titanic 183


    1:30 a.m. Lightoller is getting the port bots off; Murdoch,

    the strbord. As one bot is lowered into the se, bot officer

    fires his gun long the ships side to stop rush fro the lower

    decks. A won tries to tke her Gret Dne into bot with

    her; she is refused nd steps out of the bot to die with her dog.

    Millets little sile which plyed on his lips ll through the

    voyge plys no ore; his lips re gri, but he wves goodbye

    nd brings wrps for the woen.

    Benjin Guggenhei, in evening clothes, siles nd sys,

    Weve dressed up in our best nd re prepred to go down like


    1:40 a.m. Bot 14 is cler, nd then 13, 16, 15, nd C. The

    lights still shine, but the Bltic hers the blue sprk sy, Engine

    roo getting flooded. C

    The Olypi signls, A lighting up ll possible boilers s

    fst s cn.

    Mjor Butt helps woen into the lst bots nd wves

    goodbye to the. Mrs. Strus puts her foot on the gunwle

    of lifebot; then she drws bck nd goes to her husbnd:

    We hve been together ny yers; where you go, I will go.

    Colonel John Jcob Astor puts his young wife in lifebot, stepsbck, tps cigrette on fingernil: Goodbye, derie; Ill join you

    lter. D

    1:45 a.m. The foredeck is under wter; the focsle17 hed

    lost wsh; the gret stern is lifted high towrd the bright

    strs; nd still the bnd plys. Mr. nd Mrs. Hrris pproch

    lifebot r in r.

    Officer: Ldies first, plese.

    Hrris bows, siles, steps bck: Of course, certinly; ldiesfirst.

    Boxhll fires the lst rocket, then leves in chrge of bot No. 2.

    2:00 a.m. She is dying now; her bow goes deeper, her

    stern higher. But there ust be ste. Below in the stokeholds

    the swety fireen keep ste up for the flring lights nd

    17. focsle (FOHK SUHL): forecastle, front upper deck of a ship.

    What is the blue spark?

    Go back and re-read some of

    the story to help you find the



    What do you think Colonel

    Astor means when he tells

    his wife, Ill join you later?





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    184 R.M.S. Titanic

    the dncing sprk. The glowing cols slide nd tuble over

    the slnted grte brs; the se pounds behind tht yielding

    bulkhed. But the sprk dnces on.

    The Asin hers Phillips try the new signlSOS.

    Bot No. 4 hs left now; bot D leves ten inutes lter.

    Jcques Futrelle clsps his wife: For Gods ske, go! Its your

    lst chnce; go! Mde Futrelle is hlf forced into the bot. It

    clers the side.

    There re bout 660 people in the bots nd 1,500 still on

    the sinking Titanic. A

    On top of the officers qurters, en work frnticlly

    to get the two collpsibles stowed there over the side. Wter

    is over the forwrd prt of A deck now; it surges up the

    copnionwys towrd the bot deck. B In the rdio shck,

    Bride hs slipped cot nd life jcket bout Phillips s

    the first opertor sits hunched over his key, sendingstill

    sending4146 N.; 5014 W. CQDCQDSOSSOS

    The cptins tired white fce ppers t the rdio-roo

    door. Men, you hve done your full duty. You cn do no ore.

    Now, its every n for hiself. The cptin disppersbck

    to his sinking bridge, where Pinter, his personl stewrd, stndsquietly witing for orders. The sprk dnces on. Bride turns

    his bck nd goes into the inner cbin. As he does so, stoker,

    gried with col, d with fer, stels into the shck nd reches

    for the life jcket on Phillipss bck. Bride wheels bout nd

    brins hi with wrench. C

    2:10 a.m. Below decks the ste is still holding, though

    the pressure is fllingrpidly. In the gynsiu on the bot

    deck, the thletic instructor wtches quietly s two gentleenride the bicycles nd nother swings csully t the punching

    bg. Mil clerks stgger up the bot-deck stirwys, drgging

    soked il scks. The sprk still dnces. The bnd still

    plysbut not rgtie:

    Nerer y God to Thee.

    Nerer to Thee . . .

    Word Study

    Companionways is a

    compound word, a word

    that is formed by joining

    two words. It means stairs

    or ladders within a ship.

    Circle two more compound

    words on this page.


    Word Study

    The word brain has multiple

    meanings and can be used as

    a noun and as a verb. How is

    it being used here and what

    does it mean?


    Why is the information in

    this sentence objective?






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    R.M.S. Titanic 185


    A few en tke up the refrin; others kneel on the slnting

    decks to pry. Mny run nd scrble ft, where hundreds re

    clinging bove the silent screws on the gret uptilted stern. D

    The sprk still dnces nd the lights still flre; the engineers re

    on the job. The hyn coes to its close. Bndster Hrtley,

    Yorkshiren violinist, tps his bow ginst bulkhed, clls

    for Autun s the wter curls bout his feet, nd the eight

    usicins brce theselves ginst the ships slnt. People re

    leping fro the decks into the nerby wterthe icy wter. A

    won cries, Oh, sve e, sve e! A n nswers, Good

    ldy, sve yourself. Only God cn sve you now. The bnd

    plys Autun:

    God of Mercy nd Copssion!

    Look with pity on y pin . . .

    The wter creeps over the bridge where the Titanics ster

    stnds; hevily he steps out to eet it.

    2:17 a.m. CQ The Virginin hers rgged, blurred CQ,

    then n brupt stop. The blue sprk dnces no ore. The lights

    flicker out; the engineers hve lost their bttle. E

    2:18 a.m. Men run bout blckened decks; lep into the

    night; re swept into the se by the curling wve tht licks upthe Titanics length. Lightoller does not leve the ship; the ship

    leves hi; there re hundreds like hi, but only few who

    live to tell of it. The funnels still swi bove the wter, but

    the ship is clibing to the perpendiculr; the bridge is under

    nd ost of the forest; the gret stern rises like squt

    levithn.18 Men swi wy fro the sinking ship; others drop

    fro the stern.

    The bnd plys in the drkness, the wter lppingupwrd:

    Hold e up in ighty wters,

    Keep y eyes on things bove, F

    Righteousness, divine toneent,

    Pece nd everls . . .

    What do you think it means

    that the engineers have lost

    their battle? What evidenceis there that they have failed

    at something?


    Why do you think the band

    played while the ship was



    18. leviathan (LUH VY UHTHUHN): biblical sea monster, perhaps a whale.

    What are some of the people

    who do not make it onto the

    lifeboats doing?





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    186 R.M.S. Titanic

    The forwrd funnel snps nd crshes into the se; its

    steel tons her out of existence swiers struggling in the

    freezing wter. Stres of sprks, of soke nd ste, burst fro

    the fter funnels. The ship upends to 50to 60 degrees.

    Down in the blck byss of the stokeholds, of the engine

    roos, where the dynos hve whirred t long lst to stop,

    the stokers nd the engineers re reeling ginst the hot etl,

    the rising wter clutching t their knees. The boilers, the engine

    cylinders, rip fro their bed pltes; crsh through bulkheds;

    rublesteel ginst steel.

    The Titanic stnds on end, poised briefly for the plunge.

    Slowly she slides to her grveslowly t first, nd then ore


    2:20 a.m. The gretest ship in the world hs sunk. Fro

    the cl, drk wters, where the floting lifebots ove, there

    goes up, in the white wke of her pssing, one long continuous

    on. A B


    The bots tht the Titanic hd lunched pulled sfely wy

    fro the slight suction of the sinking ship, pulled wy fro

    the scres tht ce fro the lips of the freezing en nd

    Underline one piece of

    subjective information on

    this page.




    Illustrations by Ken Marschall 1992 from TITANIC:

    AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, a Hyperion/Madison Press Book

    Consider everything you

    have read so far. What might

    have been done to prevent

    the Titanic from meeting

    this fate, and how might

    the evacuation have been

    handled better?


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    R.M.S. Titanic 187


    women in the water. The boats were poorly manned and badly

    equipped, and they had been unevenly loaded. Some carried so

    few seamen that women bent to the oars. Mrs. Astor tugged at

    an oar handle; the Countess of Rothes took a tiller. Shivering

    stokers in sweaty, coal-blackened singlets and light trousers

    steered in some boats; stewards in white coats rowed in others.

    Ismay was in the last boat that left the ship from the starboard

    side; with Mr. Carter of Philadelphia and two seamen he tugged

    at the oars. In one of the lifeboats an Italian with a broken

    wristdisguised in a womans shawl and hathuddled on the

    floorboards, ashamed now that fear had left him. In another

    rode the only baggage saved from the Titanicthe carryall of

    Samuel L. Goldenberg, one of the rescued passengers.

    There were only a few boats that were heavily loaded;

    most of those that were half empty made but perfunctory

    efforts to pick up the moaning swimmers, their officers

    and crew fearing they would endanger the living if they

    pulled back into the midst of the dying. Some boats beat

    off the freezing victims; fear-crazed men and women struck

    with oars at the heads of swimmers. One woman drove

    her fist into the face of a half-dead man as he tried feeblyto climb over the gunwale. Two other women helped him

    in and staunched the flow of blood from the ring cuts on

    his face. C

    One of the collapsible boats, which had floated off the

    top of the officers quarters when the Titanic sank, was an icy

    haven for thirty or forty men. D The boat had capsized as

    the ship sank; men swam to it, clung to it, climbed upon its

    slippery bottom, stood knee-deep in water in the freezing air.Chunks of ice swirled about their legs; their soaked clothing

    clutched their bodies in icy folds. Colonel Archibald Gracie

    was cast up there, Gracie who had leaped from the stern as

    the Titanic sank; young Thayer who had seen his father die;

    Lightoller who had twice been sucked down with the ship and

    twice blown to the surface by a belch of air; Bride, the second

    operator, and Phillips, the first. There were many stokers, half

    Academic Vocabulary

    What ideas about the life-

    boat passengers can you

    derive, or obtain, from this



    Word Study

    Use a dictionary to find the

    meaning of haven, and then

    write a synonym for haven







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    188 R.M.S. Titanic

    naked; it was a shivering company. They stood there in the

    icy sea, under the far stars, and sang and prayedthe Lords

    Prayer. After a while a lifeboat came and picked them off, but

    Phillips was dead then or died soon afterward in the boat. A

    Only a few of the boats had lights; only oneNo. 2had a

    light that was of any use to the Carpathia, twisting through the

    ice field to the rescue. Other ships were coming hard too; one,

    the Californian, was still dead to opportunity.

    The blue sparks still danced, but not the Titanics. La Provence

    to Celtic: Nobody has heard the Titanic for about two hours.

    It was 2:40 when the Carpathia first sighted the green light

    from No. 2 boat; it was 4:10 when she picked up the first boat

    and learned that the Titanic had foundered.19 The last of the

    moaning cries had just died away then.

    Captain Rostron took the survivors aboard, boatload by

    boatload. He was ready for them, but only a small minority of

    them required much medical attention. Brides feet were twisted

    and frozen; others were suffering from exposure; one died, and

    seven were dead when taken from the boats, and were buried

    at sea.

    It was then that the fleet of racing ships learned theywere too late; the Parisian heard the weak signals of MPA, the

    Carpathia, report the death of the Titanic. It was thenor soon

    afterward, when her radio operator put on his earphonesthat

    the Californian, the ship that had been within sight as the Titanic

    was sinking, first learned of the disaster.

    And it was then, in all its white-green majesty, that the

    Titanics survivors saw the iceberg, tinted with the sunrise, floating

    idly, pack ice jammed about its base, other bergs heaving slowlynearby on the blue breast of the sea. B


    But it was not until later that the world knew, for wireless

    then was not what wireless is today, and garbled messages had

    19. foundered: filled with water, so that it sank; generally, collapsed; failed.

    Remember that this article is

    a secondary source. Would

    this paragraph be written

    differently if the sameinformation appeared in a

    primarysource? Explain.





    Who was Phillips and what

    happened to him?


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    R.M.S. Titanic 189


    nourished a hope that all of the Titanics company were safe. Not

    until Monday evening, when P.A.S. Franklin, vice president of

    the International Mercantile Marine Company, received relayed

    messages in New York that left little hope, did the full extent of

    the disaster begin to be known. Partial and garbled lists of the

    survivors; rumors of heroism and cowardice; stories spun out

    of newspaper imagination, based on a few bare facts and many

    false reports, misled the world, terrified and frightened it. C It

    was not until Thursday night, when the Carpathia steamed into

    the North River, that the full truth was pieced together.

    Flashlights flared on the black river when the Carpathia

    stood up to her dock. Tugs nosed about her, shunted her

    toward Pier 54. Thirty thousand people jammed the streets;

    ambulances and stretchers stood on the pier; coroners and

    physicians waited.

    In midstream the Cunarder dropped over the Titanics

    lifeboats; then she headed toward the dock. Beneath the customs

    letters on the pier stood relatives of the 711 survivors, relatives

    of the missinghoping against hope. The Carpathia cast her

    lines ashore; stevedores20 looped them over bollards. The

    dense throngs stood quiet as the first survivor stepped downthe gangway. D The woman half staggeredled by customs

    guardsbeneath her letter. A low wailing moan came from

    the crowd; fell, grew in volume, and dropped again.

    Thus ended the maiden voyage of the Titanic. The lifeboats

    brought to New York by the Carpathia, a few deck chairs and

    gratings awash in the ice field off the Grand Bank eight hundred

    miles from shore, were all that was left of the worlds greatest

    ship. E


    The aftermath of weeping and regret, of recriminations

    and investigations, dragged on for weeks. Charges and

    countercharges were hurled about; the White Star Line was

    20. stevedores (STEE VUHDAWRZ): persons who load and unload ships.

    Using context clues, define

    throngs in your own words.

    Use a dictionary to check

    your answer.


    According to the text, what

    remained after the Titanic






    Word Study

    Heroism and cowardice

    are antonymsthey have

    opposite meanings. Knowing

    this, write a definition ofheroism. Then, write one

    example of heroism that you

    have read about in this story.


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    190 R.M.S. Titanic

    bitterly criticized; Ismay was denounced on the floor of the

    Senate as a coward but was defended by those who had been

    with him on the sinking Titanic and by the Board of Trade

    investigation in England.

    It was not until weeks later, when the hastily convened

    Senate investigation in the United States and the Board of Trade

    report in England had been completed, that the whole story was

    told. The Senate investigating committee, under the chairman-

    ship of Senator Smith, who was attacked in both the American

    and the British press as a backwoods politician, brought out

    numerous pertinent facts, though its proceedings verged at times

    on the farcical.21 Senator Smith was ridiculed for his lack of

    knowledge of the sea when he asked witnesses, Of what is an

    iceberg composed? and Did any of the passengers take refuge

    in the watertight compartments? A The senator seemed par-

    ticularly interested in the marital status of Fleet, the lookout, who

    was saved. Fleet, puzzled, growled aside, Wot questions theyre

    arskin me!

    The report of Lord Mersey, wreck commissioner in

    the British Board of Trades investigation, was tersely

    damning.The Titanic had carried boats enough for 1,178 persons,

    only one third of her capacity. Her sixteen boats and four

    collapsibles had saved but 711 persons; 400 people had needlessly

    lost their lives. The boats had been but partly loaded; officers in

    charge of launching them had been afraid the falls22 would break

    or the boats buckle under their rated loads; boat crews had been

    slow in reaching their stations; launching arrangements were

    confused because no boat drill had been held; passengers wereloaded into the boats haphazardly because no boat assignments

    had been made.

    But that was not all. Lord Mersey found that sufficient

    warnings of ice on the steamer track had reached the Titanic,

    Selection Vocabulary

    Pertinentmeans having

    some connection with the

    subject. Why were Senator

    Smiths questions notpertinent to the proceedings?


    21. farcical (FAHR SIHKUHL): absurd; ridiculous; like a farce (an exaggerated


    22. falls: chains used for hoisting.




  • 8/3/2019 R.M.S. Titanic (Hanson W. Baldwin, 1934)



    that her speed of twenty-two knots was excessive under the

    circumstances, that in view of the high speed at which the

    vessel was running it is not considered that the lookout was

    sufficient, and that her master made a very grievous mistake

    but should not be blamed for negligence. B Captain Rostron

    of the Carpathia was highly praised. He did the very best that

    could be done. The Californian was damned. The testimony of

    her master, officers, and crew showed that she was not, at the

    most, more than nineteen miles away from the sinking Titanic

    and probably no more than five to ten miles distant. She had seen

    the Titanics lights; she had seen the rockets; she had not received

    the CQD calls because her radio operator was asleep. She had

    attempted to get in communication with the ship she had sighted

    by flashing a light, but vainly.

    The night was clear, reported Lord Mersey, and the sea

    was smooth. When she first saw the rockets, the Californian

    could have pushed through the ice to the open water without any

    serious risk and so have come to the assistance of the Titanic.

    Had she done so she might have saved many if not all of the lives

    that were lost.

    She made no attempt.C

    Would you say this article

    is mostly a subjective or

    objective account of what

    happened to the Titanic?

    Explain your answer and

    give examples from the text.




    What were some of the criti-

    cisms of the Titanics prepar-

    edness and its crews actions

    during the disaster?


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