|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
but this figure of the mill-woman cut in korl. I have it here
in a corner of my library. I keep it hid behind a curtain,--it
is such a rough, ungainly thing. Yet there are about it
touches, grand sweeps of outline, that show a master's hand.
Sometimes,--to-night, for instance,--the curtain is accidentally
drawn back, and I see a bare arm stretched out imploringly in
the darkness, and an eager, wolfish face watching mine: a wan,
woful face, through which the spirit of the dead korl-cutter
looks out, with its thwarted life, its mighty hunger, its
unfinished work. Its pale, vague lips seem to tremble with a
terrible question. "Is this the End?" they say,--"nothing
Life in the Iron-Mills
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
has ordered me to inquire into the position of affairs," he added.
"Yes, go and find out!" shouted the angry gentleman. "They've
brought things to such a pass that there are no carts or
anything!... There it is again, do you hear?" said he, pointing in the
direction whence came the sounds of firing.
"They've brought us all to ruin... the brigands!" he repeated, and
descended the porch steps.
Alpatych swayed his head and went upstairs. In the waiting room were
tradesmen, women, and officials, looking silently at one another.
The door of the Governor's room opened and they all rose and moved
forward. An official ran out, said some words to a merchant, called
War and Peace
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
concluded. "You will go into steam presently. Everybody goes
There he was wrong. I never went into steam--not really. If I
only live long enough I shall become a bizarre relic of a dead
barbarism, a sort of monstrous antiquity, the only seaman of the
dark ages who had never gone into steam--not really.
Before the examination was over he imparted to me a few
interesting details of the transport service in the time of the
"The use of wire rigging became general about that time, too," he
observed. "I was a very young master then. That was before you
A Personal Record
|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 She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:
HARDCASTLE. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. Ay, you have
taught him finely.
MRS. HARDCASTLE. No matter. Tony Lumpkin has a good fortune. My son
is not to live by his learning. I don't think a boy wants much
learning to spend fifteen hundred a year.
HARDCASTLE. Learning, quotha! a mere composition of tricks and
MRS. HARDCASTLE. Humour, my dear; nothing but humour. Come, Mr.
Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a little humour.
HARDCASTLE. I'd sooner allow him a horse-pond. If burning the
footmen's shoes, frightening the maids, and worrying the kittens be
She Stoops to Conquer