|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
Our death-rate has always been 20 in 1000 per annum. Well, 140,000
died the first year of the century; 280,000 the twenty-fifth year;
500,000 the fiftieth year; about a million the seventy-fifth year.
Now I am going to be liberal about this thing, and consider that
fifty million whites have died in America from the beginning up to
to-day - make it sixty, if you want to; make it a hundred million -
it's no difference about a few millions one way or t'other. Well,
now, you can see, yourself, that when you come to spread a little
dab of people like that over these hundreds of billions of miles of
American territory here in heaven, it is like scattering a ten-cent
box of homoeopathic pills over the Great Sahara and expecting to
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Edingburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson:
whisky and shortbread are staple articles of consumption.
From an early hour a stranger will be impressed by the
number of drunken men; and by afternoon drunkenness has
spread to the women. With some classes of society, it is
as much a matter of duty to drink hard on New-year's Day
as to go to church on Sunday. Some have been saving
their wages for perhaps a month to do the season honour.
Many carry a whisky-bottle in their pocket, which they
will press with embarrassing effusion on a perfect
stranger. It is inexpedient to risk one's body in a cab,
or not, at least, until after a prolonged study of the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Child of Storm by H. Rider Haggard:
many-hued, suggesting, but not revealing, the strength and splendour
that it veils. Nandie had none of these attractions, which, after all,
anywhere upon the earth belong only to a few women in each generation.
She was a simple, honest-natured, kindly, affectionate young woman of
high birth, no more; that is, as these qualities are understood and
expressed among her people.
Umbelazi led her forward into the presence of the King, to whom she
bowed gracefully enough. Then, after casting a swift, sidelong glance
at Saduko, which I found it difficult to interpret, and another of
inquiry at me, she folded her hands upon her breast and stood silent,
with bent head, waiting to be addressed.
Child of Storm
|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 Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw:
coming on too!
VIVIE [going to the door of the kitchen and opening it, ignoring
her mother] Now, about supper? [All rise except Mrs Warren] We
shall be rather crowded in here, I'm afraid.
MRS WARREN. Did you hear what I said, Vivie?
VIVIE [quietly] Yes, mother. [Reverting to the supper
difficulty] How many are we? [Counting] One, two, three, four,
five, six. Well, two will have to wait until the rest are done:
Mrs Alison has only plates and knives for four.
PRAED. Oh, it doesnt matter about me. I--
VIVIE. You have had a long walk and are hungry, Mr Praed: you