|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
unmixed blood, I fancy: shows itself in the slight angular
bodies and sharply-cut facial lines. It is nearly thirty years
since the Wolfes lived here. Their lives were like those of
their class: incessant labor, sleeping in kennel-like rooms,
eating rank pork and molasses, drinking--God and the distillers
only know what; with an occasional night in jail, to atone for
some drunken excess. Is that all of their lives?--of the
portion given to them and these their duplicates swarming the
streets to-day?--nothing beneath?--all? So many a political
reformer will tell you,--and many a private reformer, too, who
has gone among them with a heart tender with Christ's charity,
Life in the Iron-Mills
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
do not move. Say nothing and sit still -- as if meditating. If you stir, or
make any noise, you will be torn asunder. Do not get frightened; and do not
think of calling for help -- because no help could save you. If you do
exactly as I tell you, the danger will pass, and you will have nothing more
After dark the priest and the acolyte went away; and Hoichi seated himself
on the verandah, according to the instructions given him. He laid his biwa
on the planking beside him, and, assuming the attitude of meditation,
remained quite still,-- taking care not to cough, or to breathe audibly.
For hours he stayed thus.
Then, from the roadway, he heard the steps coming. They passed the gate,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle:
the quarterstaff in all merry England. His name is Little John,
and mine Robin Hood."
"How!" cried the Tanner, "art thou indeed the great Robin Hood,
and is this the famous Little John? Marry, had I known who thou art,
I would never have been so bold as to lift my hand against thee.
Let me help thee to thy feet, good Master Little John, and let me
brush the dust from off thy coat."
"Nay," quoth Little John testily, at the same time rising carefully,
as though his bones had been made of glass, "I can help myself,
good fellow, without thy aid; and let me tell thee, had it not
been for that vile cowskin cap of thine, it would have been ill
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
|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 Seraphita by Honore de Balzac:
poems. If some impalpable grain shines like a diamond in a human work,
men cry: 'How grand! how true! how glorious!' That fragment vibrates
in their souls and wakes a presentiment of heaven: to some, a melody
that weans from earth; to others, the solitude that draws to God. To
all, whatsoever sends us back upon ourselves, whatsoever strikes us
down and crushes us, lifts or abases us,--THAT is but a syllable of
the Divine Word.
"When a human soul draws its first furrow straight, the rest will
follow surely. One thought borne inward, one prayer uplifted, one
suffering endured, one echo of the Word within us, and our souls are
forever changed. All ends in God; and many are the ways to find Him by