|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:
"All the women were decolletes, and many of the figures
looked as if they could speak if they tried."
"Upon my word," Lord Lambeth rejoined, "you see people at London
parties that look as if they couldn't speak if they tried."
"Do you think Mr. Woodley could find us Mr. Beaumont?"
asked Mrs. Westgate.
Lord Lambeth stared and looked round him. "I daresay he could.
Beaumont often comes here. Don't you think you could find him, Woodley?
Make a dive into the crowd."
"Thank you; I have had enough diving," said Willie Woodley.
"I will wait till Mr. Beaumont comes to the surface."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
The Jew's exhibition had scarcely concluded, when a great,
elderly dog --who seemed to be his own master, as no person in
the company laid claim to him--saw fit to render himself the
object of public notice. Hitherto, he had shown himself a very
quiet, well-disposed old dog, going round from one to another,
and, by way of being sociable, offering his rough head to be
patted by any kindly hand that would take so much trouble. But
now, all of a sudden, this grave and venerable quadruped, of his
own mere motion, and without the slightest suggestion from
anybody else, began to run round after his tail, which, to
The Snow Image
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
that among those who bear arms some will be loyal and others
The next piece is taken from Tu Mu's preface to his
commentary on Sun Tzu: --
War may be defined as punishment, which is one of the
functions of government. It was the profession of Chung Yu
and Jan Ch`iu, both disciples of Confucius. Nowadays, the
holding of trials and hearing of litigation, the imprisonment
of offenders and their execution by flogging in the market-
place, are all done by officials. But the wielding of huge
armies, the throwing down of fortified cities, the hauling of
The Art of War
|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 Master of the World by Jules Verne:
even have the audacity to pass between her two enemies, to coax them
after her, until the hour when, as night closed in, they would be
forced to abandon the useless pursuit!
The city of Buffalo was now in plain view on the border of the lake.
I saw its huge buildings, its church towers, its grain elevators.
Only four or five miles ahead, Niagara river opened to the northward.
Under these new conditions which way should I turn? When we passed in
front of the destroyers, or perhaps between them, should I not throw
myself into the waters I was a good swimmer, and such a chance might
never occur again. The captain could not stop to recapture me. By
diving could I not easily escape, even from a bullet? I should surely