|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dreams by Olive Schreiner:
berries; but sometimes the little hands hung weary, and the little eyes
looked out heavily across the water.
And Life and Love dared not look into each other's eyes, dared not say,
"What ails our darling?" Each heart whispered to itself, "It is nothing,
it is nothing, tomorrow it will laugh out clear." But tomorrow and
tomorrow came. They journeyed on, and the child played beside them, but
heavily, more heavily.
One day Life and Love lay down to sleep; and when they awoke, it was gone:
only, near them, on the grass, sat a little stranger, with wide-open eyes,
very soft and sad. Neither noticed it; but they walked apart, weeping
bitterly, "Oh, our Joy! our lost Joy! shall we see you no more for ever?"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
and produced; to the moustache, which was yet hardly visible, he
rendered a like service; while, by a few lines around the eye, he
changed the expression and increased the apparent age of this young
"Now," he resumed, "when I have done the like, we shall make as
bonny a pair of friars as the eye could wish. Boldly to Sir
Daniel's we shall go, and there be hospitably welcome for the love
of Mother Church."
"And how, dear Lawless," cried the lad, "shall I repay you?"
"Tut, brother," replied the outlaw, "I do naught but for my
pleasure. Mind not for me. I am one, by the mass, that mindeth
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:
agglomerations of soot and blue vapour, to the sky; and whenever a
handful of twigs was thrown on to the fire, my legs were scorched
by the blaze.
The husband had begun life as a muleteer, and when I came to charge
Modestine showed himself full of the prudence of his art. 'You
will have to change this package,' said he; 'it ought to be in two
parts, and then you might have double the weight.'
I explained that I wanted no more weight; and for no donkey
hitherto created would I cut my sleeping-bag in two.
'It fatigues her, however,' said the innkeeper; 'it fatigues her
greatly on the march. Look.'
|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 Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:
order. To be of the same mind with another is to see all
things in the same perspective; it is not to agree in a few
indifferent matters near at hand and not much debated; it is
to follow him in his farthest flights, to see the force of
his hyperboles, to stand so exactly in the centre of his
vision that whatever he may express, your eyes will light at
once on the original, that whatever he may see to declare,
your mind will at once accept. You do not belong to the
school of any philosopher, because you agree with him that
theft is, on the whole, objectionable, or that the sun is
overhead at noon. It is by the hard sayings that