[Gabriel Nash :] (...) "What we like, when we're unregenerate, is that a new-comer should give us a password, come over to our side, join our little camp or religion, get into our little boat, in short, whatever it is, and help us to row it. It's natural enough; we're mostly in different tubs and cockles, paddling for life. Our opinions, our convictions and doctrines and standards, are simply the particular thing that will make the boat go-- our boat, naturally, for they may very often be just the thing that will sink another. If you won't get in people generally hate you."
"Your metaphor's very lame," said Nick. "It's the overcrowded boat that goes to the bottom."
"Oh I'll give it another leg or two! Boats can be big, in the infinite of space, and a doctrine's a raft that floats the better the more passengers it carries. A passenger jumps over from time to time, not so much from fear of sinking as from a want of interest in the course or the company. He swims, he plunges, he dives, he dips down and visits the fishes and the mermaids and the submarine caves; he goes from craft to craft and splashes about, on his own account, in the blue, cool water. The regenerate, as I call them, are the passengers who jump over in search of better fun. I jumped over long ago."
"And now of course you're at the head of the regenerate; for, in your turn"--Nick found the figure delightful--"you all form a select school of porpoises."
"Not a bit, and I know nothing about heads--in the sense you mean. I've grown a tail if you will; I'm the merman wandering free. It's the jolliest of trades!"
(James - The Tragic Muse)