|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:
increased. We know not exactly what the checks are in even one single
instance. Nor will this surprise any one who reflects how ignorant we are
on this head, even in regard to mankind, so incomparably better known than
any other animal. This subject has been ably treated by several authors,
and I shall, in my future work, discuss some of the checks at considerable
length, more especially in regard to the feral animals of South America.
Here I will make only a few remarks, just to recall to the reader's mind
some of the chief points. Eggs or very young animals seem generally to
suffer most, but this is not invariably the case. With plants there is a
vast destruction of seeds, but, from some observations which I have made, I
believe that it is the seedlings which suffer most from germinating in
On the Origin of Species
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Lover's Complaint by William Shakespeare:
Works under you; and to your audit comes
Their distract parcels in combined sums.
'Lo! this device was sent me from a nun,
Or sister sanctified of holiest note;
Which late her noble suit in court did shun,
Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote;
For she was sought by spirits of richest coat,
But kept cold distance, and did thence remove
To spend her living in eternal love.
'But O, my sweet, what labour is't to leave
The thing we have not, mastering what not strives?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Duchesse de Langeais by Honore de Balzac:
his sole merit; it was for such as these that women threw
themselves away. The gilded wooden idols of the Restoration, for
they were neither more nor less, had neither the antecedents of
the petits maitres of the time of the Fronde, nor the rough
sterling worth of Napoleon's heroes, not the wit and fine manners
of their grandsires; but something of all three they meant to be
without any trouble to themselves. Brave they were, like all
young Frenchmen; ability they possessed, no doubt, if they had
had a chance of proving it, but their places were filled up by
the old worn-out men, who kept them in leading strings. It was a
day of small things, a cold prosaic era. Perhaps it takes a long
|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 Children of the Night by Edwin Arlington Robinson:
As long as Fame's imperious music rings
Will poets mock it with crowned words august;
And haggard men will clamber to be kings
As long as Glory weighs itself in dust.
Drink to the splendor of the unfulfilled,
Nor shudder for the revels that are done:
The wines that flushed Lucullus are all spilled,
The strings that Nero fingered are all gone.