|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Beast in the Jungle by Henry James:
partly because, better placed for a sight of the matter, she traced
his unhappy perversion through reaches of its course into which he
could scarce follow it. He knew how he felt, but, besides knowing
that, she knew how he looked as well; he knew each of the things of
importance he was insidiously kept from doing, but she could add up
the amount they made, understand how much, with a lighter weight on
his spirit, he might have done, and thereby establish how, clever
as he was, he fell short. Above all she was in the secret of the
difference between the forms he went through--those of his little
office under Government, those of caring for his modest patrimony,
for his library, for his garden in the country, for the people in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Chronicles of the Canongate by Walter Scott:
I then made an effort to turn my thoughts into a more
philosophical current, and muttered half aloud, as a charm to
lull any more painful thoughts to rest,--
"NUNC AGER UMBRENI SUB NOMINE, NUPER OFELLI
DICTUS ERIT NULLI PROPRIUS; SED CEDIT IN USUM
NUNC MIHI, NUNC ALII. QUOCIRCA VIVITE FORTES,
FORTIAQUE ADVERSIS OPPONITE PECTORA REBUS."
[Horace Sat.II Lib.2. The meaning will be best conveyed to the
English reader in Pope's imitation:--
"What's property, dear Swift? You see it alter
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry:
deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert
the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated;
we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have
implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and
Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced
additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded;
and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne!
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and
reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--
if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which
we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble
|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 Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche:
Had I ever seen so much loathing and pale horror on one countenance? He
had perhaps gone to sleep? Then had the serpent crawled into his throat--
there had it bitten itself fast.
My hand pulled at the serpent, and pulled:--in vain! I failed to pull the
serpent out of his throat. Then there cried out of me: "Bite! Bite!
Its head off! Bite!"--so cried it out of me; my horror, my hatred, my
loathing, my pity, all my good and my bad cried with one voice out of me.--
Ye daring ones around me! Ye venturers and adventurers, and whoever of you
have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! Ye enigma-enjoyers!
Solve unto me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret unto me the vision
of the lonesomest one!
Thus Spake Zarathustra