|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James:
always feel, you know." Lady Jane threw into her eyes a look
evidently intended to give an idea of what she always felt; but she
added that she couldn't have expressed it. The man in the paper
expressed it in a striking manner. "Just see there, and there,
where I've dashed it, how he brings it out." She had literally
marked for him the brightest patches of my prose, and if I was a
little amused Vereker himself may well have been. He showed how
much he was when before us all Lady Jane wanted to read something
aloud. I liked at any rate the way he defeated her purpose by
jerking the paper affectionately out of her clutch. He'd take it
upstairs with him and look at it on going to dress. He did this
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus:
may be found raising up in myself that which had fallen; learning
to deal more wisely with the things of sense; working out my own
tranquillity, and thus rendering that which is its due to every
relation of life. . . .
If death surprise me thus employed, it is enough if I can
stretch forth my hands to God and say, "The faculties which I
received at Thy hands for apprehending this thine Administration,
I have not neglected. As far as in me lay, I have done Thee no
dishonour. Behold how I have used the senses, the primary
conceptions which Thous gavest me. Have I ever laid anything to
Thy charge? Have I ever murmured at aught that came to pass, or
The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Common Sense by Thomas Paine:
to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice
and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine
for themselves; that he will put ON, or rather that he will not put OFF
the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond
the present day.
Volumes have been written on the subject of the struggle between
England and America. Men of all ranks have embarked in the controversy,
from different motives, and with various designs; but all have been
ineffectual, and the period of debate is closed. Arms, as the last
resource, decide this contest; the appeal was the choice of the king,
and the continent hath accepted the challenge.
|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 Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:
Here cooling fountains roll through flow'ry meads,
Here woods, Lycoris, lift their verdant heads;
Here could I wear my careless life away,
And in thy arms insensibly decay.
Instead of that, me frantick love detains,
'Mid foes, and dreadful darts, and bloody plains:
While you--and can my soul the tale believe,
Far from your country, lonely wand'ring leave
Me, me your lover, barbarous fugitive!
Seek the rough Alps where snows eternal shine,
And joyless borders of the frozen Rhine.