That is very nice . . . but the sea was out there and full of ice; and after a little bump, a few passengers notice an ice berg.For there is one thing that the designers of this sea-palace seem to have forgotten and seem to be a little ashamed of—and that is the sea itself. There it lies, an eternal prospect beyond these curtained windows, by far the most lovely and wonderful thing visible; but it seems to be forgotten there. True, there is a smoke-room at the after extremity of the deck below this, whose windows look out into a great verandah sheeted in with glass from which you cannot help looking upon the sea. But in order to counteract as much as possible that austere and lovely reminder of where we are, trellis-work has been raised within the glass, and great rose-trees spread and wander all over it, reminding you by their crimson blossoms of the earth and the land, and the scented shelter of gardens that are far from the boisterous stress of the sea. No spray ever drifts in at these heights, no froth or spume can ever in the wildest storms beat upon this verandah. Here, too, as almost everywhere else on the ship, you can, if you will, forget the sea.
But that was all. The half-hour which followed the stoppage of the ship was a comparatively quiet half-hour, in which a few people came out of their cabins indeed, and collected together in the corridors and staircases gossiping, speculating and asking questions as to what could have happened; but it was not a time of anxiety, or anything like it. Nothing could be safer on this quiet Sunday night than the great ship, warmed and lighted everywhere, with her thick carpets and padded armchairs and cushioned recesses; and if anything could have added to the sense of peace and stability, it was that her driving motion had ceased, and that she lay solid and motionless-like a rock in the sea, the still water scarcely lapping against her sides. And those of her people who had thought it worth while to get out of bed stood about in little knots, and asked foolish questions, and gave foolish answers in the familiar manner of passengers on shipboard when the slightest incident occurs to vary the regular and monotonous routine.