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thorn in “Bleak House,” fond of the humorous effect of terms of extravagant opprobrium, and used often to startle strangers by the vigour of his denunciations ; but his friends, who were in the secret, laughed at the lamb who had learned to howl, and who rather enjoyed being mistaken for a wolf. Pelican effectually cured me of my belief in the old commonplace, that the man who is able to love intensely must be capable of equally forceful hate ; and the more I think of it, the more I wonder that so outrageous a libel on human nature should have obtained such universal credence. I think the objects of his greatest dislike were unimaginative people ; for he always classed imagination among the moral qualities, and loved to show how some of the most hateful characteristics of humanity-selfishness, bigotry, hardness, pretentiousness—generally owed their existence to the lack of it. “We do not speak of God's imagination,” he said to me one day ; “but it is really our recognition of something in Him that answers to it, which gives us such a certainty that He cannot deal otherwise than fairly with us, and which impels us to feel that we would rather be judged by Him than by any being on earth. ' It is with exquisite truth that one of the writers of the New Testament classes among our glories, and not ng our terrors, the coming into the presence of God the Judge of all."
Of the silent book-friends which stood always near him it is not necessary to speak at great length. Pelican chose
them as he chose his living, moving associates; and his constant favourites were the volumes in whose pages he could see human faces of quaint or solemn interest, or - from whose words he could derive that effectual stimulation which only comes from vital contact with a mind of intenser humanity than one's own.
He was in his later days strongly drawn to the writings of that suggestive author who calls himself Henry Holbeach and Matthew Browne, by the power which is there manifested of seeing things, not exactly in vacuo, but in an atmosphere from which the conventional elements have been withdrawn, and in which the personal ones alone remain. He always admired John Stuart Mill for his perfect sanity, his wide tolerance, his splendid intellectual grasp; but his admiration never became heated until he read the celebrated passage which lost the philosopher his seat for Westminster, and which enabled Pelican to see a man where he had previously seen only a mind. 'He told me he could never quote it without a thrill of passionate sympathy, so keen as to be absolutely painful. From which, I think, perhaps as much is to be inferred as from any one statement I have made concerning him.
He was always attracted by books which, as he expressed it, showed the inside of people; and accordingly Hawthorne's “Scarlet Letter” never lost its power of fascination.
I think the reason of his distaste for Shakspeare, and indeed for all dramatic literature, might
be found in the fact that the drama-even Shakspeare's drama-enables us to see people rather than to see into them. He was also very fond of Mr. Henry Kingsley's “Ravenshoe;" a book of very different character, the unmistakable charm of which must be felt but cannot easily be defined. He read a great many novels, and extracted a good deal of amusement out of stories which I thought dreary to the point of unreadableness; but I never heard him speak enthusiastically of any but these two, with the exception, of course, of the marvellous books of George Eliot whom he considered the greatest intellect in the realm of pure literature. England had ever seen. I ought perhaps to except “ Elsie Venner” and the “Guardian Angel" of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the Scotch tales of Mr. George Mac Donald ; but he was interested in the former as statements of great problems, and in the latter as stores of spiritual teaching, rather than as novels pure and simple.
He had a tolerably universal taste in literature ; for I remember one of his few shelves which supported side by side Maurice's "Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy,” “The Complete Works of Artemus Ward,” George Herbert's “Poems,” “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” Mill“On Liberty,” “The Biglow Papers,” Blake's “Songs of Innocence,” and “The Imitation of Christ.” He was not however quite so catholic as Charles Lamb; for there were books which he confessed to be books, and not mere library decorations, which he could not read. He broke down at the end of one page of “ Hudibras," one chapter of Miss Austen's “Pride and Prejudice," one volume of Mr. Carlyle's “ History of Frederick the Great." What will appear to some people worse than all—almost as bad as his non-appreciation of Shakspeare-is the fact that on more than one occasion he was heard to speak of the charming essayist of Gascony, as "that maundering Montaigne."
A few miscellaneous antipathies may be easily summed up. He hated, with a perfect hatred, hymn-tunes; books of travel ; popular preachers; money-making; aggressive respectability ; morning calls; Calvinism ; the Times, and indeed all newspapers, with the exception of the Spectator, by which he swore; cruelty to animals; evening parties; and any tendency to attribute low motives, which he considered the surest note of a worthless nature. Lastly, he was roused to frenzy by the use of the word “sound," and such a phrase as “the truth” when applied to any special religious system; and by the word “impropriety,” when used in any circumstances whatsoever.
Let me hope that this list of special enmities may prove suggestive, for with it this chapter comes to an end. In Pelican's own words, written not of himself, but of one whom he loved,
“ These were his friends, and these his foes,
These after, those before him, ran ;
SOCIETY UNDER WATER.
N this narrative I am hardly making any attempt
to preserve a chronological order ; but I have the satisfaction of feeling that if such order be altogether absent it will not be missed. The what and the how are generally of more consequence than the when ; and in these reminiscences the when is of no consequence at all.
The date of Pelican's aqueous experiences, some particulars of which are to be recorded in this chapter, will be fixed with sufficient definiteness if the season of the year be given. It was the early spring. Pelican had been for some time really ill, with that most provoking form of illness which does not confine a man to his bed, but only renders him fit for nothing out of it. His health was always as unsettled as the weather, and his pathological barometer had pointed to “stormy" for a very unusual and unsatisfactory length of time. It was evident that something must be done, and accordingly, was done. What society and what experiences Pelican met with, in pursuing the experiment he was at last induced to make,
are best described in his letters, and in a sketch which he wrote
a feeble provincial magazine long ago dead, buried, and forgotten. The sketch will serve as an introduction to the letters, and shall come first,