|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Collection of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter:
up. He found some potato peelings
in a bucket in the back kitchen.
Pigling ate the peel, and washed
up the porridge plates in the bucket.
He sang while he worked--
"Tom with his pipe made such a noise,
He called up all the girls and boys--
"And they all ran to hear him play
" 'Over the hills and far away!' "
Suddenly a little smothered voice
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:
glory to be looked for there than from our luckless canvases!"
Notwithstanding this charitable advice, the two pictures were
exhibited. The /Interior/ made a revolution in painting. It gave birth
to the pictures of genre which pour into all our exhibitions in such
prodigious quantity that they might be supposed to be produced by
machinery. As to the portrait, few artists have forgotten that
lifelike work; and the public, which as a body is sometimes
discerning, awarded it the crown which Girodet himself had hung over
it. The two pictures were surrounded by a vast throng. They fought for
places, as women say. Speculators and moneyed men would have covered
the canvas with double napoleons, but the artist obstinately refused
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:
turned, and swinging his cudgel, rushed back upon his foes.
The bachelors stopped short at the unexpected sight of the lads
with their cudgels. For a moment they rallied and drew their
knives; then they turned and fled towards their former place of
One of them turned for a moment, and flung his knife at Myles
with a deadly aim; but Myles, quick as a cat, ducked his body,
and the weapon flew clattering across the stony court. Then he
who had flung it turned again to fly, but in his attempt he had
delayed one instant too long. Myles reached him with a long-arm
stroke of his cudgel just as he entered the passage-way, knocking
Men of Iron
|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 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
day with as absolute a security, as if it had been reared, broke,--and
bridled and saddled at his door ready for mounting. By some neglect or
other in Obadiah, it so fell out, that my father's expectations were
answered with nothing better than a mule, and as ugly a beast of the kind
as ever was produced.
My mother and my uncle Toby expected my father would be the death of
Obadiah--and that there never would be an end of the disaster--See here!
you rascal, cried my father, pointing to the mule, what you have done!--It
was not me, said Obadiah.--How do I know that? replied my father.
Triumph swam in my father's eyes, at the repartee--the Attic salt brought
water into them--and so Obadiah heard no more about it.