If “compression is the first grace of style,”
you have it. Contractility is a virtue
as modesty is a virtue.
It is not the acquisition of any one thing
that is able to adorn,
or the incidental quality that occurs
as a concomitant of something well said,
that we value in style,
but the principle that is hid:
in the absence of feet, “a method of conclusions”;
“a knowledge of principles,”
in the curious phenomenon of your occipital horn.
With an elephant to ride upon—”with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,” she shall outdistance calamity anywhere she goes. Speed is not in her mind inseparable from carpets. Locomotion arose in the shape of an elephant; she clambered up and chose to travel laboriously. So far as magic carpets are concerned, she knows that although the semblance of speed may attach to scarecrows of aesthetic procedure, the substance of it is embodied in such of those tough-grained animals as have outstripped man’s whim to suppose them ephemera, and I have earned that fruit of their ability to endure blows which dubs them prosaic necessities—not curios.