|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche:
But to eat and drink well, my brethren, is verily no vain art! Break up,
break up for me the tables of the never-joyous ones!
"To the clean are all things clean"--thus say the people. I, however, say
unto you: To the swine all things become swinish!
Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are also
bowed down): "The world itself is a filthy monster."
For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no
peace or rest, unless they see the world FROM THE BACKSIDE--the
TO THOSE do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the
Thus Spake Zarathustra
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard:
poison, there in the hut of Chaka, and before the eyes of Chaka? Why
did I not taste it now and make an end? Nay, I had endured the agony;
I would not give him this last triumph over me. Now, having passed the
fire, once more I should be great in the land, and I would become
great. Yes, I would bear my sorrows, and become great, that in a day
to be I might wreak vengeance on the king. Ah! my father, there, as I
rolled among the ashes, I prayed to the Amatongo, to the ghosts of my
ancestors. I prayed to my Ehlose, to the spirit that watches me--ay,
and I even dared to pray to the Umkulunkulu, the great soul of the
world, who moves through the heavens and the earth unseen and unheard.
And thus I prayed, that I might yet live to kill Chaka as he had
Nada the Lily
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
seems to have some strange understanding. It is a poor idiotic
peasant-girl, who, in spite of her ugliness and stupidity, loved a
man, a mason. The mason was willing to marry her, as she had some
property. Poor Genevieve was happy for a year; she dressed in her best
to dance with her lover on Sunday; she comprehended love; in her heart
and soul there was room for that one sentiment. But the mason, Dallot,
reflected. He found a girl with all her senses, and more land than
Genevieve, and he deserted the poor creature. Since then she has lost
the little intellect that love developed in her; she can do nothing
but watch the cows, or help at harvesting. My niece and this poor girl
are friends, apparently by some invisible chain of their common
|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 Enemies of Books by William Blades:
fortunate enough to obtain a printed circular issued by one of the Bishops
containing statistics of the astounding mass of paper thus collected.
producing in one district alone the sum of L1,200 in three months. I need
not tell you that this work is strongly promoted by the Catholic clergy.
You can have no idea of the difficulty we now have in procuring certain
books published but 30, 40, or 50 years ago of an ephemeral character.
Historical and theological books are very rare; novels and poetry of that
period are absolutely not to be found; medical and law books are more common.
I am bound to say that in no country have more books been printed and more
destroyed than in Holland. W. MULLER."
The policy of buying up all objectionable literature seems to me,