|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Contrast by Royall Tyler:
of your penetration. Say to her! Why, when a man
goes a-courting, and hopes for success, he must begin
with doing, and not saying.
Well, what must I do?
Why, when you are introduced you must make five
or six elegant bows.
Six elegant bows! I understand that; six, you say?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
myself," she writes to me from India, "to be commonplace and like
everybody else superficially. Every one thinks I am so nice and
cheerful, so 'brave,' all the banal things that are so
comfortable to be. My mother knows me only as 'such a tranquil
child, but so strong-willed.' A tranquil child!" And she writes
again, with deeper significance: "I too have learnt the subtle
philosophy of living from moment to moment. Yes, it is a subtle
philosophy, though it appears merely an epicurean doctrine:
'Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die.' I have gone
through so many yesterdays when I strove with Death that I have
realised to its full the wisdom of that sentence; and it is to me
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Poems of Goethe, Bowring, Tr. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
Were the love I bear thee self-deception,
I must now have found it out, since Amor
Is, without his bandage, placed beside me."
Long I sat thus, full of heartfelt pleasure
At my love, and at her matchless merit;
She had so delighted me while slumbering,
That I could not venture to awake her.
Then I on the little table near her
Softly placed two oranges, two roses;
Gently, gently stole I from her chamber.
When her eyes the darling one shall open,
|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 Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:
Harknesses, they take a mean pleasure in saying 'YOUR FRIEND
Burgess,' because they know it pesters me. I wish he wouldn't
persist in liking us so; I can't think why he keeps it up."
"I can explain it. It's another confession. When the thing was new
and hot, and the town made a plan to ride him on a rail, my
conscience hurt me so that I couldn't stand it, and I went privately
and gave him notice, and he got out of the town and stayed out till
it was safe to come back."
"Edward! If the town had found it out--"
"DON'T! It scares me yet, to think of it. I repented of it the
minute it was done; and I was even afraid to tell you lest your face
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg