|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Paradise Lost by John Milton:
At loop-holes cut through thickest shade: Those leaves
They gathered, broad as Amazonian targe;
And, with what skill they had, together sewed,
To gird their waist; vain covering, if to hide
Their guilt and dreaded shame! O, how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found the American, so girt
With feathered cincture; naked else, and wild
Among the trees on isles and woody shores.
Thus fenced, and, as they thought, their shame in part
Covered, but not at rest or ease of mind,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
and my bed seemed softer after I had paid the carter myself.
Among my friends and patients none are more interesting than the
Misses Hsu. They are very intelligent, and after I had become
well acquainted with them I said to them one day:
"How is it that you have done such wide reading?"
"You know, of course," they said, "that our father is a chuang
I asked them the meaning of a chuang yuan. Then I learned that
under the Chinese system a great many students enter the
examinations, and those who secure their degree are called hsiu
tsai; a year or two later these are examined again, and those who
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:
the racing man, Panmure, the artist, two or three big City men,
Weston Massinghay and another prominent Liberal whose name I can't
remember, the three men Tarvrille had promised and Esmeer, Lord
Wrassleton, Waulsort, the member for Monckton, Neal and several
others. We began a little coldly, with duologues, but the
conversation was already becoming general--so far as such a long
table permitted--when the fire asserted itself.
It asserted itself first as a penetrating and emphatic smell of
burning rubber,--it was caused by the fusing of an electric wire.
The reek forced its way into the discussion of the Pekin massacres
that had sprung up between Evesham, Waulsort, and the others at the
|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 Edingburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson:
path; and at night, from high upon the hills, a shepherd
saw lighted windows through the foliage and heard the
voice of city dignitaries raised in song.
The farm is older. It was first a grange of
Whitekirk Abbey, tilled and inhabited by rosy friars.
Thence, after the Reformation, it passed into the hands
of a true-blue Protestant family. During the covenanting
troubles, when a night conventicle was held upon the
Pentlands, the farm doors stood hospitably open till the
morning; the dresser was laden with cheese and bannocks,
milk and brandy; and the worshippers kept slipping down