For authorities whose hopes are shaped by mercenaries? Writers entrapped by teatime fame and by commuters' comforts? Not for these the paper nautilus constructs her thin glass shell. Giving her perishable souvenir of hope, a dull white outside and smooth- edged inner surface glossy as the sea, the watchful maker of it guards it day and night; she scarcely eats until the eggs are hatched. Buried eight-fold in her eight arms, for she is in a sense a devil- fish, her glass ram'shorn-cradled freight is hid but is not crushed; as Hercules, bitten by a crab loyal to the hydra, was hindered to succeed, the intensively watched eggs coming from the shell free it when they are freed,— leaving its wasp-nest flaws of white on white, and close- laid Ionic chiton-folds like the lines in the mane of a Parthenon horse, round which the arms had wound themselves as if they knew love is the only fortress strong enough to trust to.
In This Age of Hard Trying, Nonchalance Is Good and
“really, it is not the
business of the gods to bake clay pots.” They did not
do it in this instance. A few
revolved upon the axes of their worth
as if excessive popularity might be a pot;
they did not venture the
profession of humility. The polished wedge
that might have split the firmament
was dumb. At last it threw itself away
and falling down, conferred on some poor fool, a privilege.
“Taller by the length of
a conversation of five hundred years than all
the others,” there was one, whose tales
of what could never have been actual—
were better than the haggish, uncompanionable drawl
of certitude; his by-
play was more terrible in its effectiveness
than the fiercest frontal attack.
The staff, the bag, the feigned inconsequence
of manner, best bespeak that weapon, self-protectiveness.