|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:
expense, sharing with him the offal which is his food. Note,
moreover, that the soldier crab is the most hasty and blundering of
marine animals, as active as a monkey, and as subject to panics as
a horse; wherefore the poor anemone on his back must have a hard
life of it; being knocked about against rocks and shells, without
warning, from morn to night and night to morn. Against which
danger, kind Nature, ever MAXIMA IN MINIMIS, has provided by
fitting him with a stout leather coat, which she has given, I
believe, to no other of his family.
Next, for the babies' heads, covered with prickles, instead of
hair. They are sea-urchins, Amphidotus cordatus, which burrow by
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hermione's Little Group of Serious Thinkers by Don Marquis:
little group, here and there -- so commonplace.
Don't you LOATHE the commonplace?
Not loathe, really, of course -- because the har-
monious mind does not let itself be disturbed.
The harmonious mind realizes that dirt is only
useful matter in the wrong place, as Tennyson sings
so sweetly somewhere.
Tennyson has quite gone out, of course. He is
so -- so, well, if you get what I mean -- so mid-
It seems he WAS mid-Victorian all the time, but
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Riverman by Stewart Edward White:
Orde glanced at her strangely.
"They were ours," said he.
She looked up at him, catching quickly the wrinkles of his brow and
the harassed anxiety in his eyes. Impulsively she pulled him down
to her and kissed him.
"Never mind, dear," said she. "I care only if you do."
She patted his great shoulders lightly and smiled up at him.
"Run, help!" she cried. "And come home as soon as you can. I'll
have something nice and hot all ready for you."
She turned away, the smile still on her lips; but as soon as she was
out of sight, her face fell grave.
|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 Statesman by Plato:
defence, may be truly called defences, and are for the most part to be
regarded as the work of the builder or of the weaver, rather than of the
YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly.
STRANGER: Shall we add a fifth class, of ornamentation and drawing, and of
the imitations produced by drawing and music, which are designed for
amusement only, and may be fairly comprehended under one name?
YOUNG SOCRATES: What is it?
STRANGER: Plaything is the name.
YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly.
STRANGER: That one name may be fitly predicated of all of them, for none