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group, and delivering such oracular phrases
as, "Wood, sir, never did it before, and it
will never do it again!" confidently setting
their opinions, the result of five minutes'
hasty, superficial, and untrained examination,
against the plans of men who have thought
and dreamed of nothing else than the great
work before them, day and night, for many
weary years.

Then, there were fussy men,—probably
shareholders in the Company to the extent
of one small share,—who were taking out
the value of their individual subscription in
a minute examination of every part of the
complex and powerful machinery, and who
were begging the visitors to keep back, as
an attendant clown clears the ring for a
tumbler.

Then, there were important men of stately
forms, clad in double breasted coats and
waistcoats, who awed you with authoritative
glances like incarnate beadles. They must
have been directors, or sworn friends of
directors, for Board-room was written in
every line of their important countenances.
Of more real importance in connection with
the event of the day were those two muddy,
anxious ordinary working men, looking like
a decent master carpenter, and his attendant
foreman, whose minds and bodies were too
much occupied to afford time or inclination
for any pose plastique of official dignity.
They were Mr. Brunel, the engineer, and
Mr. Harrison, the captain of the Leviathan:
the former almost bent double with fatigue,
and the latter with every particle of the
salt-sea captain drawn out of him during his
long residence in Mr. Scott Russell's ship-
building yard.

Then, there were fidgeting men, who tried
to catch the eye of persons in high authority,
upon the strength of having met them once
or twice somewhere at dinner. You could
hear such men saying to friends: "I know
Brown very intimately; very nice fellow,
Brown; if I could only get hold of Brown
for half a second, he would put that matter
right in an instant." "That matter" generally
referred to a rebuff they had met with
from a muddy policeman, who prevented
them rushing into a position of imminent
peril.

Then there were pretty little groups of
elegantly dressed ladies, carefully escorted
by an attentive cavalier through the wet,
slippery clay, over splintered timbers, and
across chains and cables, to some position
supposed to be more than ordinarily interesting,
for the purpose of exclaiming: "La!
Amelia, isn't it wonderful!"

Then there were adventurous spirits
amongst the directors, who would get into
positions of danger, to the great horror of
their wives and daughters; and who seemed
disposed to counsel the whole Board, with
the Chairman at their head, to go down with
their capital and their venture to a man.

The river, about two o'clock in the afternoon,
presented the appearance of a solid
mass of human beings outside the limits
prescribed by the Leviathan authorities. Jolly
young watermen were in charge of crews
such as they had never seen since the first
steamer was launched upon the Thames.
There were coal-barges, lumpy Scotch and
Hamburg steamers, Dutch galliots, skiffs
and cutters, barks, schooners, and sloops,
neat little Chelsea steamers, worn-looking
Woolwich boats, ambitious Gravesend crafts,
police barges, floating-engines, mooring-
barges, fishing-smacks, fruit vessels, light
jaunty yachts, and grimy colliers from
Sunderland. I think I see the little, dirty, naval
drudge on board the Bounding Betsy, from
Shields, looking up with awe and admiration
at the great vessel which overshadows him,
and wondering if he will ever be on board
such a craft. There must be some charm in
the sea for this poor lad, which our wisdom
does not enable us to measure. His life
seems hard enough; his berth is grimy; his
hands and face are grimy; his food is grimy,
for he crunches the coal-dust as he eats his
pork and greens; his captain is grimy; the
cook, who is also the chief mate, is grimy;
and the two able seamen are grimy. He has
to obey orders from every grimy mouth, and
occasionally he gets a stout cuff from a grimy
fist. He has little or no bed during the
short grimy voyage, and his life is passed
amidst coal-dust and water. Yet the lad is
happy and cheerful; and if his old mother
wishes to keep him on land, she must chain
him up strongly to the cottage-door. I wonder
whether the captain of the Leviathan was
ever such a boy? I know many great
captains who were.

A general spirit of reckless daring seems
to animate the majority of the visitors. They
delight in insecure platforms; they crowd on
small, frail, house-tops; they come up in
little cockle-boats, almost under the bows of
the great ship. In the yard, they take up
positions where the sudden snapping of a
chain, or the flying out, under severe pressure,
of a few heavy rivets, would be fraught
with consequences that they either have not
dreamed of, or have made up their minds to
brave. Many in that dense floating mass on
the river and the opposite shore would not
be sorry to experience the excitement of a
great disaster, even at the eminent risk of
their own lives. Others trust with wonderful
faith to the prudence and wisdom of the
presiding engineer, although they know that the
sudden unchecked falling over or rushing
down of such a mass into the water would, in
all probability, swamp every boat upon the
river in its immediate neighbourhood, and
wash away the people on the opposite shore.
Everything about the yard and the vessel is
large, and rough, and strong; and many who
contemplate these things become, in imagination,
large, rough, and strong likewise. If

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