|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Footnote to History by Robert Louis Stevenson:
that, in a manner highly to be envied. But the condition - that
they should be let alone - is now no longer possible. More than a
hundred years ago, and following closely on the heels of Cook, an
irregular invasion of adventurers began to swarm about the isles of
the Pacific. The seven sleepers of Polynesia stand, still but half
aroused, in the midst of the century of competition. And the
island races, comparable to a shopful of crockery launched upon the
stream of time, now fall to make their desperate voyage among pots
of brass and adamant.
Apia, the port and mart, is the seat of the political sickness of
Samoa. At the foot of a peaked, woody mountain, the coast makes a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Z. Marcas by Honore de Balzac:
Chamber, showing, as they did, incessant change and constant
vacillation, which must injure the prosperity of the country, he
scoffed at as backstairs squabbles.
"This is peace at the cost of the future," said he.
One evening Juste and I were at work, sitting in perfect silence.
Marcas had just risen to toil at his copying, for he had refused our
assistance in spite of our most earnest entreaties. We had offered to
take it in turns to copy a batch of manuscript, so that he should do
but a third of his distasteful task; he had been quite angry, and we
had ceased to insist.
We heard the sound of gentlemanly boots in the passage, and raised our
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Louis Lambert by Honore de Balzac:
suffering as must always be sacred to those who have known similar joy
"Mademoiselle, when you have read this letter, if you ever should
read it, my life will be in your hands, for I love you; and to me,
the hope of being loved is life. Others, perhaps, ere now, have,
in speaking of themselves, misused the words I must employ to
depict the state of my soul; yet, I beseech you to believe in the
truth of my expressions; though weak, they are sincere. Perhaps I
ought not thus to proclaim my love. Indeed, my heart counseled me
to wait in silence till my passion should touch you, that I might
|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 To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf:
longer make out, there on the hillside, which was their house. All
looked distant and peaceful and strange. The shore seemed refined, far
away, unreal. Already the little distance they had sailed had put them
far from it and given it the changed look, the composed look, of
something receding in which one has no longer any part. Which was
their house? She could not see it.
"But I beneath a rougher sea," Mr Ramsay murmured. He had found the
house and so seeing it, he had also seen himself there; he had seen
himself walking on the terrace, alone. He was walking up and down
between the urns; and he seemed to himself very old and bowed. Sitting
in the boat, he bowed, he crouched himself, acting instantly his part--
To the Lighthouse