How strangely imagination may anticipate history has seldom been more remarkably shown than in the disaster to the Titanic.
It was foretold in many of its details in a curious little novel by Mr. Morgan Robertson, entitled "Futility," published in the United States fourteen years ago. The story tells how a monster liner, the Titan, "was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men. In her construction and maintenance were involved every science, profession, and trade known to civilisation." She was believed to be unsinkable, indestructible." She carried 2000 passengers, and she started on her voyage across the Atlantic in April.
She was running at full speed when "a shout from the crow's nest split into the air. 'Ice,' yelled the look-out; 'ice ahead. Iceberg. Right uner the bows.' The first officer amidships and the captain, who had remained there, sprang to the engine-room telegraph ... In five seconds the bow of the Titan began to lift, and ahead and on either hand could be seen through the fog a field of ice, which arose, in an incline toa hundred feet high in her tarck." There was a 'deafening noise of steel scraping and crashing over ice ..Forty-five thousand tons - deadweight -- rushing through the fog at the rate of fifty feet a second had hurled itself at an iceberg.
"Had the impact been received by a perpendicular wall the elastic resistance of bending plates and frames would have overcome the momentum with no more damage to the passengers than a severe shaking up, and to the ship than the crushing in of her bows and the killing to a man of the watch below. She would have backed off and, slightly down by the head, finished the voyage at reduced speed.
"But a low beach, possibly formed by the recent overturning of the berg, received the Titan, and with her keel cutting the ice like the stell runner of an ice boat, and her great weight resting on the starboard bilge she rose out of the sea higher and higher - then - she heeled, overbalance, and crashed down on her side to starboard."