|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Common Sense by Thomas Paine:
and it was held sinful to acknowledge any being under that title
but the Lord of Hosts. And when a man seriously reflects on the idolatrous
homage which is paid to the persons of kings, he need not wonder that
the Almighty, ever jealous of his honour, should disapprove of a form
of government which so impiously invades the prerogative of heaven.
Monarchy is ranked in scripture as one of the sins of the Jews,
for which a curse in reserve is denounced against them.
The history of that transaction is worth attending to.
The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon
marched against them with a small army, and victory, through the
divine interposition, decided in his favour. The Jews, elate with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
gauze, and cambric needles, I grew up a very ladylike sort of a
gentleman. It is not assuming too much to affirm that the ladies
themselves were hardly so ladylike as Thomas Bullfrog. So
painfully acute was my sense of female imperfection, and such
varied excellence did I require in the woman whom I could love,
that there was an awful risk of my getting no wife at all, or of
being driven to perpetrate matrimony with my own image in the
looking-glass. Besides the fundamental principle already hinted
at, I demanded the fresh bloom of youth, pearly teeth, glossy
ringlets, and the whole list of lovely items, with the utmost
delicacy of habits and sentiments, a silken texture of mind, and,
Mosses From An Old Manse
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
second from the sides, the third from the belly. I confide to you
these trade secrets because you are men of honor. But whether a man
has hare's-skin or silk on his head, fifteen or thirty francs in
short, the problem is always insoluble. Hats must be paid for in cash,
and that is why the hat remains what it is. The honor of vestural
France will be saved on the day that gray hats with round crowns can
be made to cost a hundred francs. We could then, like the tailors,
give credit. To reach that result men must resolve to wear buckles,
gold lace, plumes, and the brims lined with satin, as in the days of
Louis XIII. and Louis XIV. Our business, which would then enter the
domain of fancy, would increase tenfold. The markets of the world
|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 Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
At midnight I went on deck, and to my mate's great
surprise put the ship round on the other tack.
His terrible whiskers flitted round me in silent criticism.
I certainly should not have done it if it had been only a question
of getting out of that sleepy gulf as quickly as possible.
I believe he told the second mate, who relieved him,
that it was a great want of judgment. The other only yawned.
That intolerable cub shuffled about so sleepily and lolled
against the rails in such a slack, improper fashion that I
came down on him sharply.
"Aren't you properly awake yet?"
The Secret Sharer