|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, etc. by Oscar Wilde:
'Mr. W. H.!' I exclaimed; 'who was Mr. W. H.?'
'Don't you remember?' he answered; 'look at the book on which his
hand is resting.'
'I see there is some writing there, but I cannot make it out,' I
'Take this magnifying-glass and try,' said Erskine, with the same
sad smile still playing about his mouth.
I took the glass, and moving the lamp a little nearer, I began to
spell out the crabbed sixteenth-century handwriting. 'To the onlie
begetter of these insuing sonnets.' . . . 'Good heavens!' I cried,
'is this Shakespeare's Mr. W. H.?'
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
again, with deeper significance: "I too have learnt the subtle
philosophy of living from moment to moment. Yes, it is a subtle
philosophy, though it appears merely an epicurean doctrine:
'Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die.' I have gone
through so many yesterdays when I strove with Death that I have
realised to its full the wisdom of that sentence; and it is to me
not merely a figure of speech, but a literal fact. Any to-morrow
I might die. It is scarcely two months since I came back from
the grave: is it worth while to be anything but radiantly glad?
Of all things that life or perhaps my temperament has given me I
prize the gift of laughter as beyond price."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from O Pioneers! by Willa Cather:
cry, then another, and another. She was living!
She was dragging herself toward the hedge!
Frank dropped his gun and ran back along the
path, shaking, stumbling, gasping. He had
never imagined such horror. The cries fol-
lowed him. They grew fainter and thicker, as
if she were choking. He dropped on his knees
beside the hedge and crouched like a rabbit,
listening; fainter, fainter; a sound like a whine;
again--a moan--another--silence. Frank
scrambled to his feet and ran on, groaning and
|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 Jungle by Upton Sinclair:
They followed it, this time, as eager as children in sight of a circus
menagerie--which, indeed, the scene a good deal resembled. They crossed
the railroad tracks, and then on each side of the street were the pens
full of cattle; they would have stopped to look, but Jokubas hurried
them on, to where there was a stairway and a raised gallery, from which
everything could be seen. Here they stood, staring, breathless with wonder.
There is over a square mile of space in the yards, and more than half
of it is occupied by cattle pens; north and south as far as the eye can
reach there stretches a sea of pens. And they were all filled--so many
cattle no one had ever dreamed existed in the world. Red cattle, black,
white, and yellow cattle; old cattle and young cattle; great bellowing