|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dark Lady of the Sonnets by George Bernard Shaw:
to an extent that threatened to make his reasonable admirers
I submit to Mr Harris that by ruling out this idolatry, and its
possible effect in making Shakespear think that his public would stand
anything from him, he has ruled out a far more plausible explanation
of the faults of such a play as Timon of Athens than his theory that
Shakespear's passion for the Dark Lady "cankered and took on proud
flesh in him, and tortured him to nervous breakdown and madness." In
Timon the intellectual bankruptcy is obvious enough: Shakespear tried
once too often to make a play out of the cheap pessimism which is
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from First Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:
who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves;
and the intention of the lawgiver is the law. All members
of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution--
to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition,
then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause
"shall be delivered up", their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they
would make the effort in good temper, could they not with nearly
equal unanimity frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good
that unanimous oath?
There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should
be enforced by national or by State authority; but surely that
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
recognized his wife, now half mad. With a gesture of savage energy he
showed her the gold. Ginevra began to laugh mechanically; but suddenly
she cried, in a dreadful voice:--
"The child, Luigi, he is cold!"
She looked at her son and swooned. The little Bartolomeo was dead.
Luigi took his wife in his arms, without removing the child, which she
clasped with inconceivable force; and after laying her on the bed he
went out to seek help.
"Oh! my God!" he said, as he met his landlord on the stairs. "I have
gold, gold, and my child has died of hunger, and his mother is dying,
too! Help 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 Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:
carriage--an elegant English phaeton, with a splendid pair of English
horses. He felt quite dizzy as he beheld in this carriage Francesca,
beautifully dressed, by the side of an old lady as hard as a cameo. A
servant blazing with gold lace stood behind. Francesca recognized
Rodolphe, and smiled at seeing him like a statue on a pedestal. The
carriage, which the lover followed with his eyes as he climbed the
hill, turned in at the gate of a country house, towards which he ran.
"Who lives here?" he asked the gardener.
"Prince and Princess Colonna, and Prince and Princess Gandolphini."
"Have they not just driven in?"