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The Tragic Story of the Empress of Ireland and Other Great Sea Disasters

Logan Marshall
pubblicato da Library of Alexandria

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THOSE who go down to the sea in ships" was once a synonym for those who gambled with death and put their lives upon the hazard. Today the mortality at sea is less than on common carriers on land. But the futility of absolute prevention of accident is emphasized again and again. The regulation of safety makes catastrophes like that of the Empress of Ireland all the more tragic and terrible. A blow, a ripping, the side taken out of a ship, darkness, the inrush of waters, a panic, and then in the hush the silent corpses drifting by. So with the Canadian liner. She has gone to her grave leaving a trail of sorrow behind her. Hundreds of human hearts and homes are in mourning for the loss of dear companions and friends. The universal sympathy which is written in every face and heard in every voice proves that man is more than the beasts that perish. It is an evidence of the divine in humanity. Why should we care? There is no reason in the world, unless there is something in us that is different from lime and carbon and phosphorus, something that makes us mortals able to suffer together"For we have all of us an human heart." The collision which sent the Empress of Ireland to the bottom of the St. Lawrence with hundreds of passengers in their berths produced a shudder throughout the civilized world. And the effect on the spirits of the millions who received the shock will not soon pass off. The Titanic tragedy sat heavy on the minds of the people of this generation for months after it happened. There is hardly any one in touch with world affairs who will not feel himself drawn into the circle of mourners over such a disaster. From every center of great calamity waves of sympathetic sorrow spread to far-distant strangers, but the perishing of great numbers in a shipwreck seems to impress our human nature more profoundly than do accidents or visitations of other kinds in which the toll of death is as great. Our concern for those in danger seems to turn especially to those in peril on the sea. Science has wrought miracles for the greater protection of those afloat. Wireless telegraphy, air-tight compartments, the construction which has produced what is called "the unsinkable ship," have added greatly to the safety of ocean travel. But science cannot eliminate the element of error. None of the aids that the workers for safe transit have bestowed on navigation could avail to prevent what happened in the early hours of May 29, 1914. The Empress of Ireland was rammed by another vessel, and so crushed as to be unable to remain afloat for more than fifteen minutes after the impact. Overwhelmed by the catastrophe we fall back upon that faith in the Unseen Power which is never shaken by the appearance of what seems to be unnecessary evil or inexplicable cruelty. Trust in God involves the belief that behind the stupendous processes of natural life there is a divine wisdom so deeply grounded upon reality that no human mind can comprehend its precepts and a divine love so boundless in its compassion that no human heart can measure its scope. We concede the knowledge of the divine mind to be "too wonderful" for our understanding. "It is high: I cannot attain unto it." Therefore we are prepared for the awful, the mysterious, and even the terrible. Nothing in the universal process can disturb or confound us. If a thing appears to be evil it is wisdom which is at fault. If an event seems to be cruel it is our love which is blind. We look upon the chances and changes of human experience even as we gaze at night upon the movements of the heavenly spheres; we would as little think of questioning the beneficence of the one as of the other. Come sorrow or joy, failure or success, death or lifeit is all the same. We trust God, and therefore we trust life, which is simply the thing that God is doing.


Generi Storia e Biografie » Storia: opere generali » Storia: specifici argomenti , Romanzi e Letterature » Romanzi contemporanei , Salute Benessere Self Help » Mente, corpo, spirito

Editore Library Of Alexandria

Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM

Pubblicato 24/02/2021

Lingua Inglese

EAN-13 9781465623393

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