|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
equal. Nature meant me to be, on the whole, a good man, Miss Eyre;
one of the better kind, and you see I am not so. You would say you
don't see it; at least I flatter myself I read as much in your eye
(beware, by-the-bye, what you express with that organ; I am quick at
interpreting its language). Then take my word for it,--I am not a
villain: you are not to suppose that--not to attribute to me any
such bad eminence; but, owing, I verily believe, rather to
circumstances than to my natural bent, I am a trite commonplace
sinner, hackneyed in all the poor petty dissipations with which the
rich and worthless try to put on life. Do you wonder that I avow
this to you? Know, that in the course of your future life you will
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest:
And the good old-fashioned asters laughing
at us from their bed;
Once again in shoes and stockings are the chil-
dren's little feet,
And the dog now does his snoozing on the
bright side of the street.
It's September, and the cornstalks are as high
as they will go,
And the red cheeks of the apples everywhere
begin to show;
A Heap O' Livin'
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:
quiet communion with her was gone for good. And there were also
disturbing sounds by this time - voices, footsteps forward; the
steward flitted along the maindeck, a busily ministering spirit; a
hand-bell tinkled urgently under the poop-deck. . . .
I found my two officers waiting for me near the supper table, in
the lighted cuddy. We sat down at once, and as I helped the chief
mate, I said:
"Are you aware that there is a ship anchored inside the islands? I
saw her mastheads above the ridge as the sun went down."
He raised sharply his simple face, overcharged by a terrible growth
of whisker, and emitted his usual ejaculations: "Bless my soul,
'Twixt Land & Sea
|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 Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen:
found a real Princess. The three peas were however put into the cabinet of
curiosities, where they are still to be seen, provided they are not lost.
Wasn't this a lady of real delicacy?
THE SHOES OF FORTUNE
I. A Beginning
Every author has some peculiarity in his descriptions or in his style of
writing. Those who do not like him, magnify it, shrug up their shoulders, and
exclaim--there he is again! I, for my part, know very well how I can bring
about this movement and this exclamation. It would happen immediately if I
were to begin here, as I intended to do, with: "Rome has its Corso, Naples its
Toledo"--"Ah! that Andersen; there he is again!" they would cry; yet I must,