|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde:
anybody here to-night whom one could possibly call a serious purpose.
The man who took me in to dinner talked to me about his wife the
MRS. MARCHMONT. How very trivial of him!
LADY BASILDON. Terribly trivial! What did your man talk about?
MRS. MARCHMONT. About myself.
LADY BASILDON. [Languidly.] And were you interested?
MRS. MARCHMONT. [Shaking her head.] Not in the smallest degree.
LADY BASILDON. What martyrs we are, dear Margaret!
MRS. MARCHMONT. [Rising.] And how well it becomes us, Olivia!
[They rise and go towards the music-room. The VICOMTE DE NANJAC, a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:
existence of inactivity had robbed her of all joy in strenuous exertion and
endurance in any form. Finely clad, tenderly housed, life became for her
merely the gratification of her own physical and sexual appetites, and the
appetites of the male, through the stimulation of which she could maintain
herself. And, whether as kept wife, kept mistress, or prostitute, she
contributed nothing to the active and sustaining labours of her society.
She had attained to the full development of that type which, whether in
modern Paris or New York or London, or in ancient Greece, Assyria, or Rome,
is essentially one in its features, its nature, and its results. She was
the "fine lady," the human female parasite - the most deadly microbe which
can make its appearance on the surface of any social organism. (The
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:
the middle ages. She made pictures in her mind of the poet's abode, of
his study; she saw him unsealing her letter; and then followed myriads
After sketching the poetry we cannot do less than give the profile of
the poet. Canalis is a short, spare man, with an air of good-breeding,
a dark-complexioned, moon-shaped face, and a rather mean head like
that of a man who has more vanity than pride. He loves luxury, rank,
and splendor. Money is of more importance to him than to most men.
Proud of his birth, even more than of his talent, he destroys the
value of his ancestors by making too much of them in the present day,
--after all, the Canalis are not Navarreins, nor Cadignans, nor
|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 Finished by H. Rider Haggard:
soldiers formed themselves into rough squares, on which the
savage warriors broke like water on a rock, By degrees ammunition
ran out; only the bayonet remained. Still the Zulus could not
break those squares. So they took another counsel. Withdrawing
a few paces beyond the reach of the bayonets, they overwhelmed
the soldiers by throwing assegais, then rushed in and finished
This was what happened to us, among whom were men of the 24th,
Natal Carabineers and Mounted Police. Some had dismounted, but I
sat on my horse, which stood quite still, I think from fright,
and fired away so long as I had any ammunition. With my very