|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
career which was just well begun, Yuan no doubt expected to do
so. What was his surprise therefore to receive from Her Majesty a
message of condolence in which she praised his mother in the
highest terms for having given the world such a brilliant and
able son. Under the circumstances, however, it would be
impossible to accept his resignation as his services to the
country just at this juncture were indispensable. She would,
however, appoint a substitute to go into mourning for him, and
this with the knowledge that she had borne a son whose services
were so necessary to the safety of the government and the
country, would be a sufficient comfort to the spirit of his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Flower after flower, I plucked them; flower by flower
Cast them behind me, ruined, withered, dead.
Full many a shining godhead disappeared.
From the bright rank that once adorned her brow
The old child's Olympus
* * * * *
Gone are the fair old dreams, and one by one,
As, one by one, the means to reach them went,
As, one by one, the stars in riot and disgrace,
I squandered what . . .
There shut the door, alas! on many a hope