|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:
and wit in him, was cruelly repressed as forwardness in me.
"My mother had an indolence of character, which prevented her
from paying much attention to our education. But the healthy breeze
of a neighbouring heath, on which we bounded at pleasure, volatilized
the humours that improper food might have generated. And to enjoy
open air and freedom, was paradise, after the unnatural restraint
of our fireside, where we were often obliged to sit three or four
hours together, without daring to utter a word, when my father was
out of humour, from want of employment, or of a variety of boisterous
amusement. I had however one advantage, an instructor, the brother
of my father, who, intended for the church, had of course received
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Places of the Heart by H. G. Wells:
But I think until I know certainly that you do not want me
any more it will be impossible for me to marry or to have a
lover. I don't know, but that is how I believe it will be
with me. And my mind feels beautifully clear now and settled.
I've got your idea and made it my own, your idea that we
matter scarcely at all, but that the work we do matters
supremely. I'll find my rope and tug it, never fear. Half way
round the world perhaps some day you will feel me tugging."
"I shall feel you're there," he said, "whether you tug or
not. . . ."
"Three miles left to Exeter," he reported presently.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:
princess might at that moment have been wearing the diadem of France,
and her brow could not have seemed more imposing than it was beneath
that crown of golden hair, braided like a coronet, and adorned with
heather. She was simple and calm; nothing betrayed a sense of any
necessity to appear so, nor any desire to seem grand or loving.
D'Arthez, the solitary toiler, to whom the ways of the world were
unknown, whom study had wrapped in its protecting veils, was the dupe
of her tones and words. He was under the spell of those exquisite
manners; he admired that perfect beauty, ripened by misfortune, placid
in retirement; he adored the union of so rare a mind and so noble a
soul; and he longed to become, himself, the heir of Michel Chrestien.
|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 She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:
SCENE--An Alehouse Room. Several shabby Fellows with punch and
tobacco. TONY at the head of the table, a little higher than the
rest, a mallet in his hand.
OMNES. Hurrea! hurrea! hurrea! bravo!
FIRST FELLOW Now, gentlemen, silence for a song. The 'squire is
going to knock himself down for a song.
OMNES. Ay, a song, a song!
TONY. Then I'll sing you, gentlemen, a song I made upon this
alehouse, the Three Pigeons.
She Stoops to Conquer