|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Beauty and The Beast by Bayard Taylor:
"Abel at first looked rather foolish, but quickly recovering
"`All vegetable substances are not proper for food: you would not
taste the poison-oak, or sit under the upas-tree of Java.'
"`Well, Abel,' Eunice rejoined, `how are we to distinguish what is
best for us? How are we to know WHAT vegetables to choose, or
what animal and mineral substances to avoid?'
"`I will tell you,' he answered, with a lofty air. `See here!'
pointing to his temple, where the second pimple--either from the
change of air, or because, in the excitement of the last few days,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Falk by Joseph Conrad:
warm gratitude--there was something truly cordial
in his exertions.
He seemed as vexed as myself at our failure, and
would hardly listen to my thanks. He said it was
"nothings," and invited me on the spot to come on
board his ship and drink a glass of beer with him.
We poked sceptically for a while amongst the
bushes, peered without conviction into a ditch or
two. There was not a sound: patches of slime glim-
mered feebly amongst the reeds. Slowly we trudged
back, drooping under the thin sickle of the moon,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
trial, he came forth in the good old way--head foremost. As for the
great head itself, that was doing as well as could be expected.
And thus, through the courage and great skill in obstetrics of
Queequeg, the deliverance, or rather, delivery of Tashtego, was
successfully accomplished, in the teeth, too, of the most untoward
and apparently hopeless impediments; which is a lesson by no means to
be forgotten. Midwifery should be taught in the same course with
fencing and boxing, riding and rowing.
I know that this queer adventure of the Gay-Header's will be sure to
seem incredible to some landsmen, though they themselves may have
either seen or heard of some one's falling into a cistern ashore; an
|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 Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
an arm round her waist--"haf batience."
"As for you, you are an angel, I could kiss the ground you tread
upon," said she. "But M. Pons never liked me, he always hated me.
Besides, he thinks perhaps that I want to be mentioned in his will--"
"Hush! you vill kill him!" cried Schmucke.
"Good-bye, sir," said La Cibot, with a withering look at Pons. "You
may keep well for all the harm I wish you. When you can speak to me
pleasantly, when you can believe that what I do is done for the best,
I will come back again. Till then I shall stay in my own room. You
were like my own child to me; did anybody ever see a child revolt
against its mother? . . . No, no, M. Schmucke, I do not want to hear