|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Poems by T. S. Eliot:
And clawing at the pillow slip.
Sweeney addressed full length to shave
Broadbottomed, pink from nape to base,
Knows the female temperament
And wipes the suds around his face.
(The lengthened shadow of a man
Is history, said Emerson
Who had not seen the silhouette
Of Sweeney straddled in the sun).
Tests the razor on his leg
Waiting until the shriek subsides.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare:
And bid Suspicion double-lock the door,
Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest,
Should, by his stealing in, disturb the feast?' 448
Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'd,
Which to his speech did honey passage yield, 452
Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken'd
Wrack to the seaman, tempest to the field,
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds. 456
This ill presage advisedly she marketh:
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ballads by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Where the basket hung on a mango; and craft transfigured his face.
Deftly he opened the basket, and took of the fat of the fish,
The cut of kings and chieftains, enough for a goodly dish.
This he wrapped in a leaf, set on the fire to cook
And buried; and next the marred remains of the tribute he took,
And doubled and packed them well, and covered the basket close
- "There is a buffet, my king," quoth he, "and a nauseous dose!" -
And hung the basket again in the shade, in a cloud of flies
- "And there is a sauce to your dinner, king of the crafty eyes!"
Soon as the oven was open, the fish smelt excellent good.
In the shade, by the house of Rahero, down they sat to their food,
|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 Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
and with it the twins. Half the town had said the twins were
humbugging when the claimed they had lost their knife,
and now these people were joyful, and said, "I told you so!"
If their fingerprints had been on the handle--but useless to
bother any further about that; the fingerprints on the handle
were NOT theirs--that he knew perfectly.
Wilson refused to suspect Tom; for first, Tom couldn't
murder anybody--he hadn't character enough; secondly,
if he could murder a person he wouldn't select his doting benefactor
and nearest relative; thirdly, self-interest was in the way;
for while the uncle lived, Tom was sure of a free support and a