|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Plutarch's Lives by A. H. Clough:
spoken of, for her familiarity with Caesar, and the other
Servilia, Cato's sister also, was yet more ill-conducted; for
being married to Lucullus, one of the greatest men in Rome, and
having brought him a son, she was afterwards divorced for
incontinency. But what was worst of all, Cato's own wife Atilia
was not free from the same fault; and after she had borne him two
children, he was forced to put her away for her misconduct.
After that he married Marcia, the daughter of Philippus, a woman
of good reputation, who yet has occasioned much discourse; and
the life of Cato, like a dramatic piece, has this one scene or
passage full of perplexity and doubtful meaning.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
it is deliverance that the tablet commemorates--and then you will
see the miller kneeling beside his mill with a flood rushing down
upon it, or a peasant kneeling in his harvest-field under an
inky-black cloud, or a landlord beside his inn in flames, or a
mother praying beside her sick children; and above appears an
angel, or a saint, or the Virgin with her Child.
Read the inscriptions, too, in their quaint German. Some of them
are as humourous as the epitaphs in New England graveyards. I
remember one which ran like this:
Here lies Elias Queer,
Killed in his sixtieth year;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare:
Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?
I would your duty were as foolish too;
The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,
Hath cost me a hundred crowns since supper-time!
The more fool you for laying on my duty.
Katherine, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women
What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.
The Taming of the Shrew
|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 Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:
terms: "Then," says he, "shall the negative quantity of the women
be turn'd into positive, their - into +;" (i.e.) their minus into
Plato not only speaks of this great change, but describes all the
preparations towards it. "Long before the bodily transformation,
(says he) nature shall begin the most difficult part of her work,
by changing the ideas and inclinations of the two sexes: Men
shall turn effeminate, and women manly; wives shall domineer, and
husbands obey; ladies shall ride a horseback, dress'd like
cavaliers; princes and nobles appear in night-rails and
petticoats; men shall squeak upon theatres with female voices,