|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Hellenica by Xenophon:
 Mod. Kalamata.
But Conon had a proposal to make:--If Pharnabazus would allow him to
keep the fleet, he would undertake, in the first place, to support it
free of expense from the islands; besides which, he would sail to his
own country and help his fellow-citizens the Athenians to rebuild
their long walls and the fortifications round Piraeus. No heavier
blow, he insisted, could well be inflicted on Lacedaemon. "In this
way, I can assure you," he added, "you will win the eternal gratitude
of the Athenians and wreak consummate vengeance on the Lacedaemonians,
since at one stroke you will render null and void that on which they
have bestowed their utmost labour." These arguments so far weighed
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:
whose very simplicity was the origin of a grandeur not
apparent in erections where more ornament has been
attempted. The dusky, filmed, chestnut roof, braced
and tied in by huge collars, curves, and diagonals, was
far nobler in design, because more wealthy in material,
than nine-tenths of those in our modern churches.
Along each side wall was a range of striding buttresses,
throwing deep shadows on the spaces between them,
which were perforated by lancet openings, combining
in their proportions the precise requirements both of
beauty and ventilation.
Far From the Madding Crowd
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
look of weary, dumb appeal upon the face of the negro-like river
slavishly bearing its burden day after day. Something of the
same idle notion comes to me to-day, when from the street-window
I look on the slow stream of human life creeping past, night and
morning, to the great mills. Masses of men, with dull, besotted
faces bent to the ground, sharpened here and there by pain or
cunning; skin and muscle and flesh begrimed with smoke and
ashes; stooping all night over boiling caldrons of metal, laired
by day in dens of drunkenness and infamy; breathing from infancy
to death an air saturated with fog and grease and soot, vileness
for soul and body. What do you make of a case like that,
Life in the Iron-Mills
|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 Enemies of Books by William Blades:
the covers, a very few being channels along the paper affecting
three or four sheets only. The varied energy of these little pests
is thus represented:--
On folio 1 are 212 holes. On folio 61 are 4 holes.
" 11 " 57 " " 71 " 2 "
" 21 " 48 " " 81 " 2 "
" 31 " 31 " " 87 " 1 "
" 41 " 18 " " 90 " 0 "
" 51 " 6 "
These 90 leaves being stout, are about the thickness of 1 inch.
The volume has 250 leaves, and turning to the end, we find on the last