|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:
result is a scanty and disordered scaffolding.
Is disordered the word? Perhaps not. The Epeira's eye, more
experienced in matters of this sort than mine, has recognized the
general lie of the land; and the rope-fabric has been erected
accordingly: it is very inaccurate in my opinion, but very
suitable for the Spider's designs. What is it that she really
wants? A solid frame to contain the network of the web. The
shapeless structure which she has just built fulfils the desired
conditions: it marks out a flat, free and perpendicular area.
This is all that is necessary.
The whole work, for that matter, is now soon completed; it is done
The Life of the Spider
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moral Emblems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
I wield a double power to please,
And use the GRAVER and the PEN
With equal aptitude and ease.
I move with that illustrious crew,
The ambidextrous Kings of Art;
And every mortal thing I do
Brings ringing money in the mart.
Hence, in the morning hour, the mead,
The forest and the stream perceive
Me wandering as the muses lead -
Or back returning in the eve.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
untouched. Next day, when I saw the directress, and when she
made an excuse to meet me in the corridor, and besought my notice
by a demeanour and look subdued to Helot humility, I could not
love, I could scarcely pity her. To answer briefly and dryly some
interesting inquiry about my health--to pass her by with a stern
bow--was all I could; her presence and manner had then, and for
some time previously and consequently, a singular effect upon me:
they sealed up all that was good elicited all that was noxious in
my nature; sometimes they enervated my senses, but they always
hardened my heart. I was aware of the detriment done, and
quarrelled with myself for the change. I had ever hated a
|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 Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
trailing of a garment, Ilbrahim seemed to watch that some
visitant should enter.
But, after a little time, he relinquished whatever secret hope
had agitated him, and with one low, complaining whisper, turned
his cheek upon the pillow. He then addressed Dorothy with his
usual sweetness, and besought her to draw near him; she did so,
and Ilbrahim took her hand in both of his, grasping it with a
gentle pressure, as if to assure himself that he retained it. At
intervals, and without disturbing the repose of his countenance,
a very faint trembling passed over him from head to foot, as if a
mild but somewhat cool wind had breathed upon him, and made him
Twice Told Tales