He assumed a mock extravagance, and went on:
"I am no attic singer, no ballroom warbler. And why? Because I am practical. Mine is no squalor of song that cannot transmute itself, with proper exchange value, into a flower-crowned cottage, a sweet mountain-meadow, a grove of red-woods, an orchard of thirty-seven trees, one long row of blackberries and two short rows of strawberries, to say nothing of a quarter of a mile of gurgling brook. I am a beauty-merchant, a trader in song, and I pursue utility, dear Madge. I sing a song, and thanks to the magazine editors I transmute my song into a waft of the west wind sighing through our redwoods, into a murmur of waters over mossy stones that sings back to me another song than the one I sang and yet the same song wonderfully - er - transmuted."
"O that all your song-transmutations were as successful!" she laughed.
"Those two beautiful sonnets that you transmuted into the cow that was accounted the worst milker in the township."
"She was beautiful - " he began,
"But she didn't give milk," Madge interrupted.
"But she WAS beautiful, now, wasn't she?" he insisted.
"And here's where beauty and utility fall out," was her reply. "And there's the Wolf!"