|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes:
not to our wrath, but to our profoundest sympathy. But as we
cannot help hating the sight of these people, just as we do that of
physical deformities, we gradually eliminate them from our society,
- we love them, but open the window and let them go. By the time
decent people reach middle age they have weeded their circle pretty
well of these unfortunates, unless they have a taste for such
animals; in which case, no matter what their position may be, there
is something, you may be sure, in their natures akin to that of
their wretched parasites.
- The divinity-student wished to know what I thought of affinities,
as well as of antipathies; did I believe in love at first sight?
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:
necessity felt by the lady and her lover for being constantly
together; for the great feature of such a life is the lover, who for
five hours is kept under the eye of a woman who has had him at her
feet all day. Thus Italian habits allow of perpetual satisfaction, and
necessitate a constant study of the means fitted to insure it, though
hidden under apparent light-heartedness.
It is a beautiful life, but a reckless one, and in no country in the
world are men so often found worn out.
The Duchess' box was on the pit tier--/pepiano/, as it is called in
Venice; she always sat where the light from the stage fell on her
face, so that her handsome head, softly illuminated, stood out against
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Common Sense by Thomas Paine:
It is but seldom that our first thoughts are truly correct, and that
is the case here; for there are ten times more to dread from a patched up
connection than from independence. I make the sufferers case my own,
and I protest, that were I driven from house and home, my property destroyed,
and my circumstances ruined, that as man, sensible of injuries, I could never
relish the doctrine of reconciliation, or consider myself bound thereby.
The colonies have manifested such a spirit of good order and obedience
to continental government, as is sufficient to make every reasonable
person easy and happy on that head. No man can assign the least pretence
for his fears, on any other grounds, than such as are truly childish
and ridiculous, viz. that one colony will be striving for superiority
|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 Phaedrus by Plato:
injury which he can inflict upon him than this. He will contrive that his
beloved shall be wholly ignorant, and in everything shall look to him; he
is to be the delight of the lover's heart, and a curse to himself. Verily,
a lover is a profitable guardian and associate for him in all that relates
to his mind.
Let us next see how his master, whose law of life is pleasure and not good,
will keep and train the body of his servant. Will he not choose a beloved
who is delicate rather than sturdy and strong? One brought up in shady
bowers and not in the bright sun, a stranger to manly exercises and the
sweat of toil, accustomed only to a soft and luxurious diet, instead of the
hues of health having the colours of paint and ornament, and the rest of a