|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from First Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:
separation of the states. The people themselves can do this
also if they choose; but the executive, as such, has nothing to
do with it. His duty is to administer the present government,
as it came to his hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him,
to his successor.
Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice
of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?
In our present differences is either party without faith of being
in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with his eternal
truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours
of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Human Drift by Jack London:
newspapers for reports of the first northern flights of ducks.
And then, suddenly, there is a hurried pack of suit-cases and
overhauling of gear, and we are off for Vallejo where the little
Roamer lies, waiting, always waiting, for the skiff to come
alongside, for the lighting of the fire in the galley-stove, for
the pulling off of gaskets, the swinging up of the mainsail, and
the rat-tat-tat of the reef-points, for the heaving short and the
breaking out, and for the twirling of the wheel as she fills away
and heads up Bay or down.
On Board Roamer,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
the English spring (which agreed with his wife) augmented his
general mistrust of men's motives and of the efficiency of their
organisation. The futility of office work especially appalled him
on those days so trying to his sensitive liver.
He got up, unfolding himself to his full height, and with a
heaviness of step remarkable in so slender a man, moved across the
room to the window. The panes streamed with rain, and the short
street he looked down into lay wet and empty, as if swept clear
suddenly by a great flood. It was a very trying day, choked in raw
fog to begin with, and now drowned in cold rain. The flickering,
blurred flames of gas-lamps seemed to be dissolving in a watery
The Secret Agent
|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 Pupil by Henry James:
as Pemberton had seen them depressed he had never seen them crushed
- and communication was therefore rapid. He wrote to the boy to
ascertain the state of his health, but awaited the answer in vain.
He accordingly, after three days, took an abrupt leave of the
opulent youth and, crossing the Channel, alighted at the small
hotel, in the quarter of the Champs Elysees, of which Mrs. Moreen
had given him the address. A deep if dumb dissatisfaction with
this lady and her companions bore him company: they couldn't be
vulgarly honest, but they could live at hotels, in velvety
entresols, amid a smell of burnt pastilles, surrounded by the most
expensive city in Europe. When he had left them in Venice it was