|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:
dominating character thereof into prominence.
We should overrun our limits if we were to follow out the
admirable discussion in which M. Taine extends this definition to
architecture and music. These closely allied arts are
distinguished from poetry, painting, and sculpture, by appealing
far less directly to the intelligence, and far more exclusively
to the emotions. Yet these arts likewise aim, by bringing into
prominence certain relations of symmetry in form as perceived by
the eye, or in aerial vibrations as perceived by the ear, to
excite in us the states of feeling with which these species of
symmetry are by subtle laws of association connected. They, too,
The Unseen World and Other Essays
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
give her up. There was a special charm about the moments thus
snatched from the jaws of renunciation; and his sense of their
significance was on this occasion so keen that he hardly noticed
the added gravity of her welcome.
His feeling for her had become so vital a part of him that her
nearness had the quality of imperceptibly readjusting his point of
view, so that the jumbled phenomena of experience fell at once
into a rational perspective. In this redistribution of values the
sombre retrospect of the previous evening shrank to a mere cloud
on the edge of consciousness. Perhaps the only service an unloved
woman can render the man she loves is to enhance and prolong his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:
The date of the following story is about the latter years of
Queen Elizabeth's reign; and the events took place in Liddesdale,
a hilly and pastoral district of Roxburghshire, which, on a part
of its boundary, is divided from England only by a small river.
During the good old times of RUGGING AND RIVING--that is, tugging
and tearing--under which term the disorderly doings of the
warlike age are affectionately remembered, this valley was
principally cultivated by the sept or clan of the Armstrongs.
The chief of this warlike race was the Laird of Mangerton. At
the period of which I speak, the estate of Mangerton, with the
power and dignity of chief, was possessed by John Armstrong, a
|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 Purse by Honore de Balzac:
they live by intrigue and gambling. But on looking at Adelaide, a
man so pure-minded as Schinner could not but believe in her
perfect innocence, and ascribe the incoherence of the furniture
to honorable causes.
"My dear," said the old lady to the young one, "I am cold; make a
little fire, and give me my shawl."
Adelaide went into a room next the drawing-room, where she no
doubt slept, and returned bringing her mother a cashmere shawl,
which when new must have been very costly; the pattern was
Indian; but it was old, faded and full of darns, and matched the
furniture. Madame Leseigneur wrapped herself in it very