|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
shawls and men's tweed caps hurried by. Men hung over the palings; the
children played in the doorways. A low hum came from the mean little
cottages. In some of them there was a flicker of light, and a shadow,
crab-like, moved across the window. Laura bent her head and hurried on.
She wished now she had put on a coat. How her frock shone! And the big
hat with the velvet streamer--if only it was another hat! Were the people
looking at her? They must be. It was a mistake to have come; she knew all
along it was a mistake. Should she go back even now?
No, too late. This was the house. It must be. A dark knot of people
stood outside. Beside the gate an old, old woman with a crutch sat in a
chair, watching. She had her feet on a newspaper. The voices stopped as
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
discussed in his own mind the Vervelle family. He found it impossible
to stay peacefully in his studio, so he took a walk on the boulevard,
and looked at all the red-haired women who passed him. He made a
series of the oddest reasonings to himself: gold was the handsomest of
metals; a tawny yellow represented gold; the Romans were fond of red-
haired women, and he turned Roman, etc. After two years of marriage
what man would ever care about the color of his wife's hair? Beauty
fades,--but ugliness remains! Money is one-half of all happiness. That
night when he went to bed the painter had come to think Virginie
When the three Vervelles arrived on the day of the second sitting the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:
natural, and not only tolerable, but even agreeable, is a thing
unintelligible but by those who have experienced it, as I have.
The same night that I was sent to Newgate, I sent the news of
it to my old governess, who was surprised at it, you may be
sure, and spent the night almost as ill out of Newgate, as I did
The next morning she came to see me; she did what she could
to comfort me, but she saw that was to no purpose; however,
as she said, to sink under the weight was but to increase the
weight; she immediately applied herself to all the proper
methods to prevent the effects of it, which we feared, and
|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 Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll:
And silence followed after.
[Sent to a friend who had complained that I was glad enough to see
him when he came, but didn't seem to miss him if he stayed away.]
And cannot pleasures, while they last,
Be actual unless, when past,
They leave us shuddering and aghast,
With anguish smarting?
And cannot friends be firm and fast,
And yet bear parting?
And must I then, at Friendship's call,