|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson:
the little verandah in front of my room this morning, and
there went through me or over me a wave of extraordinary and
apparently baseless emotion. I literally staggered. And
then the explanation came, and I knew I had found a frame of
mind and body that belonged to Scotland, and particularly to
the neighbourhood of Callander. Very odd these identities of
sensation, and the world of connotations implied; highland
huts, and peat smoke, and the brown, swirling rivers, and wet
clothes, and whiskey, and the romance of the past, and that
indescribable bite of the whole thing at a man's heart, which
is - or rather lies at the bottom of - a story.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Second Home by Honore de Balzac:
A Study of Woman
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
The Seamy Side of History
The Magic Skin
A Prince of Bohemia
Letters of Two Brides
The Muse of the Department
The Imaginary Mistress
The Middle Classes
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
hearing the man, and came closer.
"I did no' think; gi' me my supper, woman.
She watched him eat with a painful eagerness. With a woman's
quick instinct, she saw that he was not hungry,--was eating to
please her. Her pale, watery eyes began to gather a strange
"Is't good, Hugh? T' ale was a bit sour, I feared."
"No, good enough." He hesitated a moment. "Ye're tired, poor
lass! Bide here till I go. Lay down there on that heap of ash,
and go to sleep."
He threw her an old coat for a pillow, and turned to his work.
Life in the Iron-Mills
|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 Dreams & Dust by Don Marquis:
"THEY HAD NO POET . . ."
"Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet and they died."--POPE.
By Tigris, or the streams of Ind,
Ere Colchis rose, or Babylon,
Forgotten empires dreamed and sinned,
Setting tall towns against the dawn,
Which, when the proud Sun smote upon,
Flashed fire for fire and pride for pride;
Their names were . . . Ask oblivion! . . .
"They had no poet, and they died."