|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to
employ all their time in stroling to beg sustenance for their
helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for
want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for
the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.
I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number
of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of
their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present
deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional
grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and
easy method of making these children sound and useful members of
A Modest Proposal
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:
furnished with proper credentials and who apparently was doing his
best to waste his life in an eccentric fashion, with a bohemian set
(one poet, at least, emerged out of it later) on one side, and on
the other making friends with the people of the Old Town, pilots,
coasters, sailors, workers of all sorts. He pretended rather
absurdly to be a seaman himself and was already credited with an
ill-defined and vaguely illegal enterprise in the Gulf of Mexico.
At once it occurred to Mills that this eccentric youngster was the
very person for what the legitimist sympathizers had very much at
heart just then: to organize a supply by sea of arms and
ammunition to the Carlist detachments in the South. It was
The Arrow of Gold
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Frances Waldeaux by Rebecca Davis:
life a burden, and I never have had one. Just because
our noses and chins are made up differently!"
"Oh, my dear!" said Clara anxiously. "I never thought
you cared for that kind of success!"
"I'm only human," Jean laughed. "Of course I'm an
artist. I'm going to paint a great picture some day that
all the world shall go mad about. Of Eve. I'll put all
the power of all women into her. But in the meantime I'd
like to see one man turn pale and pant before me as the
fat little prince does when Lucy snubs him."
"Lucy is very hard to please," complained Miss Vance.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Contrast by Royall Tyler:
No, I don't say so. It may be very becoming to
saunter round the house of a rainy day; to visit my
grand-mamma, or to go to Quakers' meeting: but to
swim in a minuet, with the eyes of fifty well-dressed
beaux upon me, to trip it in the Mall, or walk on the
battery, give me the luxurious, jaunty, flowing, bell-
hoop. It would have delighted you to have seen me
the last evening, my charming girl! I was dangling
o'er the battery with Billy Dimple; a knot of young