|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft:
words, as well as ideas, of the real author.
What follows in the ensuing pages, is not a preface regularly
drawn out by the author, but merely hints for a preface, which,
though never filled up in the manner the writer intended,
appeared to be worth preserving.
THE WRONGS OF WOMAN, like the wrongs of the oppressed part of
mankind, may be deemed necessary by their oppressors: but surely
there are a few, who will dare to advance before the improvement
of the age, and grant that my sketches are not the abortion of a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne:
inhabited by snakes and tigers, which fled at the noise of the train;
succeeded by forests penetrated by the railway, and still haunted
by elephants which, with pensive eyes, gazed at the train as it passed.
The travellers crossed, beyond Milligaum, the fatal country so often
stained with blood by the sectaries of the goddess Kali. Not far off
rose Ellora, with its graceful pagodas, and the famous Aurungabad,
capital of the ferocious Aureng-Zeb, now the chief town of one of the
detached provinces of the kingdom of the Nizam. It was thereabouts
that Feringhea, the Thuggee chief, king of the stranglers, held his sway.
These ruffians, united by a secret bond, strangled victims of every age
in honour of the goddess Death, without ever shedding blood; there was
Around the World in 80 Days
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson:
as on a horse whom he had backed and bridled by sheer power of
intelligence, and whom he might ride to glory or the grave at pleasure.
Which was it to be? He lingered long, relishing the details of schemes
that he was too idle to pursue. Poor cork upon a torrent, he tasted
that night the sweets of omnipotence, and brooded like a deity over the
strands of that intrigue which was to shatter him before the summer
CHAPTER VIII - A NOCTURNAL VISIT
KIRSTIE had many causes of distress. More and more as we grow old - and
yet more and more as we grow old and are women, frozen by the fear of
age - we come to rely on the voice as the single outlet of the soul.
|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 Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
all make everything of mother; she'll have a lovely time to-day.
I wouldn't have had her miss it, and there won't be a thing she'll
ever regret, except to mourn because William wa'n't here."
Mrs. Blackett having been properly escorted to the house, Mrs.
Todd received her own full share of honor, and some of the men,
with a simple kindness that was the soul of chivalry, waited upon
us and our baskets and led away the white horse. I already knew
some of Mrs. Todd's friends and kindred, and felt like an adopted
Bowden in this happy moment. It seemed to be enough for anyone to
have arrived by the same conveyance as Mrs. Blackett, who presently
had her court inside the house, while Mrs. Todd, large, hospitable,