|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:
When the bank on the other side of the draw began to throw a narrow
shelf of shadow, we knew we ought to be starting homeward; the chill
came on quickly when the sun got low, and Antonia's dress was thin.
What were we to do with the frail little creature we had lured
back to life by false pretences? I offered my pockets, but Tony
shook her head and carefully put the green insect in her hair,
tying her big handkerchief down loosely over her curls.
I said I would go with her until we could see Squaw Creek,
and then turn and run home. We drifted along lazily, very happy,
through the magical light of the late afternoon.
All those fall afternoons were the same, but I never got used to them.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:
conventional, and most irreligious type. There were pilgrims,
for the most part discharged soldiers, unaccustomed to a settled
life, poverty-stricken, and many of them drunken old men, who
tramped from monastery to monastery merely to be fed. And there
were rough peasants and peasant-women who had come with their
selfish requirements, seeking cures or to have doubts about quite
practical affairs solved for them: about marrying off a daughter,
or hiring a shop, or buying a bit of land, or how to atone for
having overlaid a child or having an illegitimate one.
All this was an old story and not in the least interesting to
him. He knew he would hear nothing new from these folk, that
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Soul of a Bishop by H. G. Wells:
were already unpopular in their county on account of a poverty
and shyness that made them seem "stuck up" to successful captains
of industry only too ready with the hand of friendship, the iron
grip indeed of friendship, consciously hospitable and eager for
admission and endorsements. And Princhester in particular was
under the sway of that enterprising weekly, The White Blackbird,
which was illustrated by, which indeed monopolized the gifts of,
that brilliant young caricaturist "The Snicker."
It had seemed natural for Lady Ella to acquiesce in the
proposals of the leading Princhester photographer. She had always
helped where she could in her husband's public work, and she had
|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 Essays of Francis Bacon by Francis Bacon:
themselves would never agree. And if it come so
to pass, in that distance of judgment, which is be-
tween man and man, shall we not think that God
above, that knows the heart, doth not discern that
frail men, in some of their contradictions, intend
the same thing; and accepteth of both? The nature
of such controversies is excellently expressed, by
St. Paul, in the warning and precept, that he giveth
concerning the same, Devita profanas vocum novi-
tates, et oppositiones falsi nominis scientiae. Men
create oppositions, which are not; and put them
Essays of Francis Bacon