|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:
private life an estimable man, much addicted to the vice of reducing
the margins of all books sent to him to bind. So far did he go,
that he even spared not a fine copy of Froissart's Chronicles,
on vellum, in which was the autograph of the well-known book-lover,
De Thou, but cropped it most cruelly.
Owners, too, have occasionally diseased minds with regard to margins.
A friend writes: "Your amusing anecdotes have brought to my memory
several biblioclasts whom I have known. One roughly cut the margins off
his books with a knife, hacking away very much like a hedger and ditcher.
Large paper volumes were his especial delight, as they gave more paper.
The slips thus obtained were used for index-making! Another, with the bump
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
with an occasional slap on the back, and pointed with a peg in the ribs;
a species of vivacious eloquence in which the; old gentleman excelled,
and which is supposed by many of that pleasant variety of the human spectes,
known by the name of choice fellows and comical dogs, to be the genuine
tangible shape of the cream of a good joke.
What! shall we have incision? shall we embrew? Henry IV.
Old Sir Guy of Gamwell, and young William Gamwell, and fair
Alice Gamwell, and Sir Ralph Montfaucon and his squire,
rode together the next morning to the scene of the feast.
They arrived on a village green, surrounded with cottages peeping
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:
"You're a brick, my dear!" he exclaimed.
"You had my word, you know."
"Yes; yes--I know." His face had clouded again. "And that's
all--positively all--you've ever said to him?"
"Positively all. But why do you ask?"
He had a moment's embarrassed hesitation. "It was
understood, wasn't it, that my grandmother was to be the
first to know?"
"Well--and so she has been, hasn't she, since you've told
He turned back to his restless shifting of the knick-knacks.
|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 Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
broadest rivers, each on its particular chip, with its tail
raised for a sail, and bridging narrower streams with their
dead--that something like the furor which affects the domestic
cattle in the spring, and which is referred to a worm in their
tails,--affects both nations and individuals, either perennially
or from time to time. Not a flock of wild geese cackles over our
town, but it to some extent unsettles the value of real estate
here, and, if I were a broker, I should probably take that
disturbance into account.
"Than longen folk to gon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken strange strondes."