|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Poems by Oscar Wilde:
yet, seen the fuller air, the larger day.
From the wildness of my wasted passion I had
struck a better, clearer song,
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled
with some Hydra-headed wrong.
Had my lips been smitten into music by the
kisses that but made them bleed,
You had walked with Bice and the angels on
that verdant and enamelled mead.
I had trod the road which Dante treading saw
the suns of seven circles shine,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:
a curious chance, Paz and I happened to come together again, at the
same hour and the same place, on the other side of the Vistula. I saw
the poor captain arrested by some Prussians, who made themselves the
blood-hounds of the Russians. When we have fished a man out of the
Styx we cling to him. This new danger for poor Paz made me so unhappy
that I let myself be taken too, thinking I could help him. Two men can
get away where one will perish. Thanks to my name and some family
connections in Prussia, the authorities shut their eyes to my escape.
I got my dear captain through as a man of no consequence, a family
servant, and we reached Dantzic. There we got on board a Dutch vessel
and went to London. It took us two months to get there. My mother was
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:
left the nurse and the watchman to bury the poor wench - that is,
throw her into the cart - and take care of the house.
I could give a great many such stories as these, diverting enough,
which in the long course of that dismal year I met with - that is, heard
of - and which are very certain to be true, or very near the truth; that is
to say, true in the general: for no man could at such a time learn all
the particulars. There was likewise violence used with the watchmen,
as was reported, in abundance of places; and I believe that from the
beginning of the visitation to the end, there was not less than eighteen
or twenty of them killed, or so wounded as to be taken up for dead,
which was supposed to be done by the people in the infected houses
A Journal of the Plague Year
|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 Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:
democracy. Naturally, since the smallest amount of intemperance and
injustice, together with the highest scrupulousness in the pursuit of
excellence, is to be found in the ranks of the better class, while
within the ranks of the People will be found the greatest amount of
ignorance, disorderliness, rascality--poverty acting as a stronger
incentive to base conduct, not to speak of lack of education and
ignorance, traceable to the lack of means which afflicts the average
 Or, "these inferiors," "these good-for-nothings."
 Or, "some of these folk." The passage is corrupt.
The objection may be raised that it was a mistake to allow the