|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Intentions by Oscar Wilde:
merely appropriate to each style of dress, but really conditioned
by it. The extravagant use of the arms in the eighteenth century,
for instance, was the necessary result of the large hoop, and the
solemn dignity of Burleigh owed as much to his ruff as to his
reason. Besides until an actor is at home in his dress, he is not
at home in his part.
Of the value of beautiful costume in creating an artistic
temperament in the audience, and producing that joy in beauty for
beauty's sake without which the great masterpieces of art can never
be understood, I will not here speak; though it is worth while to
notice how Shakespeare appreciated that side of the question in the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from St. Ives by Robert Louis Stevenson:
thing for a person of my habit of body, content myself with a pint
of skinking claret, and meditate the discourse. But about this
business of yours: if it is so particular as all that, it will
doubtless admit of no delay.'
'I must confess, sir, it presses,' I acknowledged.
'Then, let us say to-morrow at half-past eight in the morning,'
said he; 'and I hope, when your mind is at rest (and it does you
much honour to take it as you do), that you will sit down with me
to the postponed meal, not forgetting the bottle. You have my
address?' he added, and gave it me - which was the only thing I
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:
and to spare. For as I had cried out behind her, as I have said,
and bore myself back in the crowd as she bore forward, there
were several people, at least seven or eight, the throng being
still moving on, that were got between me and her in that time,
and then I crying out 'A pickpocket,' rather sooner than she,
or at least as soon, she might as well be the person suspected
as I, and the people were confused in their inquiry; whereas,
had she with a presence of mind needful on such an occasion,
as soon as she felt the pull, not screamed out as she did, but
turned immediately round and seized the next body that was
behind her, she had infallibly taken me.
|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 Bucolics by Virgil:
Ere we arrive, then singing let us go,
Our way to lighten; and, that we may thus
Go singing, I will case you of this load.
Cease, boy, and get we to the work in hand:
We shall sing better when himself is come.
This now, the very latest of my toils,
Vouchsafe me, Arethusa! needs must I
Sing a brief song to Gallus- brief, but yet