|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James:
Alps and the Apennines between us, but the sense of the waning
occasion suggested that I might in my despair at last have gone to
him. Of course I should really have done nothing of the sort. I
remained five minutes, while my companions talked of the new book,
and when Drayton Deane appealed to me for my opinion of it I made
answer, getting up, that I detested Hugh Vereker and simply
couldn't read him. I departed with the moral certainty that as the
door closed behind me Deane would brand me for awfully superficial.
His hostess wouldn't contradict THAT at least.
I continue to trace with a briefer touch our intensely odd
successions. Three weeks after this came Vereker's death, and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Iron Puddler by James J. Davis:
envy. The Ten Commandments forbid covetousness. The Golden Rule
also forbade my practicing sabotage. And I have never tried to
find a better guide than the Ten Commandments and the Golden
Rule. The test of my misconduct would have come when, having
cleverly destroyed their profits, I found them quitting in
discouragement, closing up the business and throwing us all out
of our jobs for keeps.
I tried to point out these things to the men. Some of them felt
as I did about it. Others couldn't see it. So I learned darn
early in life that you can't reform 'em all.
I used to say to the complaining man:
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
prosperity, the grace and purity of thy youth were forgotten.
Forgetful of thy heroic devotion, thy pure life, thy abundant faith,
thou didst resign thy primitive power and thy spiritual supremacy for
fleshly power. Thy linen vestments, thy couch of moss, the cell in the
rock, bright with rays of the Light Divine, was forsaken; thou hast
sparkled with diamonds, and shone with the glitter of luxury and
pride. Then, grown bold and insolent, seizing and overturning all
things in thy course like a courtesan eager for pleasure in her days
of splendor, thou hast steeped thyself in blood like some queen
stupefied by empery. Dost thou not remember to have been dull and
heavy at times, and the sudden marvelous lucidity of other moments; as
|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 Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:
very great house, and might make a very good thing of it, if they
could but give satisfaction.
And Tom thought so likewise, and, indeed, would have done and
behaved his best, even without being knocked down. For, of all
places upon earth, Harthover Place (which he had never seen) was
the most wonderful, and, of all men on earth, Sir John (whom he had
seen, having been sent to gaol by him twice) was the most awful.
Harthover Place was really a grand place, even for the rich North
country; with a house so large that in the frame-breaking riots,
which Tom could just remember, the Duke of Wellington, and ten
thousand soldiers to match, were easily housed therein; at least,