|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:
humiliated in mind. I was ashamed of myself as a man and a
soldier, and still more so at feeling my own extreme desire to
escape from the haunted apartment, which, however, conquered all
other considerations; so that, huddling on my clothes with the
most careless haste, I made my escape from your lordship's
mansion, to seek in the open air some relief to my nervous
system, shaken as it was by this horrible rencounter with a
visitant, for such I must believe her, from the other world.
Your lordship has now heard the cause of my discomposure, and of
my sudden desire to leave your hospitable castle. In other
places I trust we may often meet, but God protect me from ever
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
even that which was preached by the glorious Apostles and
inspired Fathers, and shineth in the Catholick Church above the
brightness of the sun from the one end of the world unto the
other; and as an herald and teacher of that truth have I been
sent to thee."
Ioasaph said unto him, "Hath my father then, learned naught of
The elder answered, "Clearly and duly he hath learned naught; for
he stoppeth up his senses, and will not admit that which is good,
being of his own free choice inclined to evil."
"Would God," said Ioasaph, "that he too were instructed in these
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
Now for stranger facts:--
This world of incessant toil is a more than Vestal world. It is true that
males can sometimes be perceived in it; but they appear only at particular
seasons, and they have nothing whatever to do with the workers or with the
work. None of them would presume to address a worker,-- except, perhaps,
under extraordinary circumstances of common peril. And no worker would
think of talking to a male;-- for males, in this queer world, are inferior
beings, equally incapable of fighting or working, and tolerated only as
necessary evils. One special class of females,-- the Mothers-Elect of the
|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 Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
your works look like Dante's Inferno."
"Yes. Yonder is Farinata himself in the burning tomb,"--
pointing to some figure in the shimmering shadows.
"Judging from some of the faces of your men," said the other,
"they bid fair to try the reality of Dante's vision, some day."
Young Kirby looked curiously around, as if seeing the faces of
his hands for the first time.
"They're bad enough, that's true. A desperate set, I fancy.
The overseer did not hear him. He was talking of net profits
Life in the Iron-Mills