|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost:
Two thousand crowns a year will suffice, if we continue to live
at Chaillot. We shall keep up appearances, but live frugally.
Our only expense will be occasionally a carriage, and the
theatres. We shall do everything in moderation. You like the
opera; we shall go twice a week, in the season. As for play, we
shall limit ourselves; so that our losses must never exceed three
crowns. It is impossible but that in the space of ten years some
change must occur in my family: my father is even now of an
advanced age; he may die; in which event I must inherit a
fortune, and we shall then be above all other fears.'
"This arrangement would not have been by any means the most
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tattine by Ruth Ogden [Mrs. Charles W. Ide]:
could not be blamed for that. You need to stop its boiling at precisely the
right moment, else it suddenly reaches the point where, when you cool it, it
grows brittle like "taffy," and then good-bye to maple-wax for that kettleful.
So Rudolph, every half-minute, kept dripping little streams of the boiling
sugar from the spoon upon the piece of ice, and Tattine and Mabel kept testing
it with their fingers and tongues, until both at last exclaimed in one and the
same breatlg, "It's done! it's done! Lift it off the fire quickly; it's just
right." Just right means when the sugar hardens in a few seconds, or in a
little more than half a minute, into a delicious consistency like--well, just
like maple-wax, for there is nothing else in the world that I know of with
which to compare it. Then the children seated themselves around the great cake
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
toward us. Reel in now as swiftly as possible, or else he will get
a slack on the line and escape. Now he stops, shakes his head from
side to side, and darts away again across the pool, leaping high
out of water. Don't touch the reel! Drop the point of the rod
quickly, for if he falls on the leader he will surely break it.
Another leap, and another! Truly he is "a merry one," and it will
go hard with us to hold him. But those great leaps have exhausted
his strength, and now he follows the rod more easily. The men push
the boat back to the shallow side of the pool until it touches
lightly on the shore. The fish comes slowly in, fighting a little
and making a few short runs; he is tired and turns slightly on his
|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 The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
What peace, unravished of our ken,
Annihilate from the world of men?
The wind of change for ever blows
Across the tumult of our way,
To-morrow's unborn griefs depose
The sorrows of our yesterday.
Dream yields to dream, strife follows
And Death unweaves the webs of Life.
For us the travail and the heat,
The broken secrets of our pride,