This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
Finally, there should grow the most austere of all mental qualities; I mean the sense for style. It is an aesthetic sense, based on admiration for the direct attainment of a foreseen end, simply and without waste. Style in art, style in literature, style in science, style in logic, style in practical execution, have fundamentally the same aesthetic qualities, namely, attainment and restraint. The love of a subject in itself and for itself, where it is not the sleepy pleasure of pacing a mental quarter-deck, is the love of style as manifested in that study.
Here we are brought back to the position from which we started, the utility of education. Style, in its finest sense, is the last acquirement of the educated mind; it is also the most useful. It pervades the whole being. The administrator with a sense for style, hates waste; the engineer with a sense for style, economises his material; the artisan with a sense for style, prefers good work. Style is the ultimate morality of the mind.
But, above style and above knowledge, there is something, a vague shape like fate above the Greek gods. The something is Power. Style is the fashioning of power, the restraining of power. But, after all, the power of attainment of the desired end is fundamental. The first thing is to get there. Do not bother about your style, but solve your problem, justify the ways of God to man, administer your province or do whatever else is set before you.
Where, then, does style help? In this, with style the end is attained without side issues, without raising undesirable inflammations. With style, you attain your end and nothing but your end. With style, the effect of your activity is calculable, and foresight is the last gift of gods to men. With style, your power is increased, for your mind is not distracted with irrelevancies, and you are more likely to attain your object. Now style is the exclusive privilege of the expert Who ever heard of the style of an amateur painter, of the style of an amateur poetf Style is always the product of specialist study, the peculiar contribution of specialism to culture.
"The Organisation of Thought"
By A. N. Whitehead, ScD., F.R.S.
London: Williams & Norgate
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company.