|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot:
A noise of horns and hunting, which shall bring
Actaeon to Diana in the spring,
Where all shall see her naked skin . . .
199. I do not know the origin of the ballad from which these lines
are taken: it was reported to me from Sydney, Australia.
202. _V._ Verlaine, PARSIFAL.
210. The currants were quoted at a price 'carriage and insurance
free to London'; and the Bill of Lading, etc., were to be handed
to the buyer upon payment of the sight draft.
Notes 196 and 197 were transposed in this and the Hogarth Press edition,
but have been corrected here.
The Waste Land
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moral Emblems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Once more in his home-country stood,
Strange that the sordid clowns should show
A dull desire to have him go.
His clinging breeks, his tarry hat,
The way he swore, the way he spat,
A certain quality of manner,
Alarming like the pirate's banner -
Something that did not seem to suit all -
Something, O call it bluff, not brutal -
Something at least, howe'er it's called,
Made Robin generally black-balled.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:
say Gwendolen refused you? I know it is a way she has. She is
always refusing people. I think it is most ill-natured of her.
JACK. Oh, Gwendolen is as right as a trivet. As far as she is
concerned, we are engaged. Her mother is perfectly unbearable.
Never met such a Gorgon . . . I don't really know what a Gorgon is
like, but I am quite sure that Lady Bracknell is one. In any case,
she is a monster, without being a myth, which is rather unfair . .
. I beg your pardon, Algy, I suppose I shouldn't talk about your
own aunt in that way before you.
ALGERNON. My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is
the only thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations
|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 Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn:
its voices,--the vast silence, the vast light, seemed full of
weirdness. And these hushes, these transparencies, do not always
inspire a causeless apprehension: they are omens
sometimes--omens of coming tempest. Nature,--incomprehensible
Sphinx!--before her mightiest bursts of rage, ever puts forth her
divinest witchery, makes more manifest her awful beauty ...
But in that forgotten summer the witchery lasted many long
days,--days born in rose-light, buried in gold. It was the
height of the season. The long myrtle-shadowed village was
thronged with its summer population;--the big hotel could hardly
accommodate all its guests;--the bathing-houses were too few for