|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence:
had always been. The slightest grossness made her recoil almost
in anguish. Her brothers were brutal, but never coarse in speech.
The men did all the discussing of farm matters outside. But, perhaps,
because of the continual business of birth and of begetting which goes
on upon every farm, Miriam was the more hypersensitive to the matter,
and her blood was chastened almost to disgust of the faintest
suggestion of such intercourse. Paul took his pitch from her,
and their intimacy went on in an utterly blanched and chaste fashion.
It could never be mentioned that the mare was in foal.
When he was nineteen, he was earning only twenty shillings a week,
but he was happy. His painting went well, and life went well enough.
Sons and Lovers
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Georgics by Virgil:
Still set thee trembling for the ripened grapes.
Not so with olives; small husbandry need they,
Nor look for sickle bowed or biting rake,
When once they have gripped the soil, and borne the breeze.
Earth of herself, with hooked fang laid bare,
Yields moisture for the plants, and heavy fruit,
The ploughshare aiding; therewithal thou'lt rear
The olive's fatness well-beloved of Peace.
Apples, moreover, soon as first they feel
Their stems wax lusty, and have found their strength,
To heaven climb swiftly, self-impelled, nor crave
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
see with; and again it was a shadow of himself; and yet again
behold the image of the dead dealer, reinspired with cunning and
At times, with a strong effort, he would glance at the open door
which still seemed to repel his eyes. The house was tall, the
skylight small and dirty, the day blind with fog; and the light
that filtered down to the ground story was exceedingly faint, and
showed dimly on the threshold of the shop. And yet, in that strip
of doubtful brightness, did there not hang wavering a shadow?
Suddenly, from the street outside, a very jovial gentleman began to
beat with a staff on the shop-door, accompanying his blows with
|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:
tangle of unrelated things, invaded by unrelated shore people,
I had hardly seen her yet properly. Now, as she lay cleared for sea,
the stretch of her main-deck seemed to me very find under the stars.
Very fine, very roomy for her size, and very inviting.
I descended the poop and paced the waist, my mind picturing
to myself the coming passage through the Malay Archipelago,
down the Indian Ocean, and up the Atlantic. All its phases
were familiar enough to me, every characteristic, all the
alternatives which were likely to face me on the high seas--
everything! . . . except the novel responsibility of command.
But I took heart from the reasonable thought that the ship
The Secret Sharer