Page:The fairy tales of science.djvu/369

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the ten bulkheads or cross-walls of thick iron plate, already alluded to, extend from side to side, and from bottom to top, with no openings whatever below the level of the passenger saloons. So impermeable are these walls that according to the view of the builders any one of the twelve compartments into which the ship is thus divided might be filled with water without flooding those adjacent to it; and, accordingly, a hole rent in the hull would, so to speak, only have one-tenth part of a chance in sinking the vessel. Besides these transverse walls, there are two longitudinal iron walls running along rather more than half the length of the vessel; it will thus be seen that the hollow as well as the shell of the vast fabric is cellular.

What with the two iron decks, the two longitudinal iron walls, and the ten transverse iron walls, besides partial decks, and walls of smaller size, the interior is made into a series of sixty or eighty vast iron boxes, a honeycomb of quadranglar cells, the walls of which give strength mutually one to another. Let a strain come in whatever direction it may, there is an iron wall ready to baffle it. The engineers may possibly be too sanguine, but they believe the Leviathan will prove the taughtest, trimmest, driest ship ever built, irrespective of its more important qualities. They comfort those who dread sea-sickness with the hope that a ship too long to pitch and too flat to roll, will be bearable even to "the gentlemen of England who live at home at