|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson:
their next descendants, the George Washingtons and Daniel
Websters, will at least be clear upon the point. And anyway,
and however his name should be spelt, this Irvine Lovelands
was the most unmitigated Caliban I ever knew.
Our very first morning at Silverado, when we were full of
business, patching up doors and windows, making beds and
seats, and getting our rough lodging into shape, Irvine and
his sister made their appearance together, she for
neighbourliness and general curiosity; he, because he was
working for me, to my sorrow, cutting firewood at I forget
how much a day. The way that he set about cutting wood was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tour Through Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe:
than mention that it appears already to be exceedingly magnificent,
and suitable to the genius of the great founder.
But a friend of mine, who lives in that county, has sent me the
following lines, which, as he says, are to be placed upon the
building, whether on the frieze of the cornice, or over the
portico, or on what part of the building, of that I am not as yet
certain. The inscription is as follows, viz.:-
"H. M. F.
"Fundamen ut essem Domus
In Agro Natali Extruendae,
Robertus ille Walpole
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from What is Man? by Mark Twain:
I believe that that would carry it to a big pine-tree that was
shattered by some lightning one summer when it was trying to hit me.
We got a good deal of fun out of the history road; and
exercise, too. We trotted the course from the conqueror to the
study, the children calling out the names, dates, and length of
reigns as we passed the stakes, going a good gait along the long
reigns, but slowing down when we came upon people like Mary and
Edward VI., and the short Stuart and Plantagenet, to give time to
get in the statistics. I offered prizes, too--apples. I threw
one as far as I could send it, and the child that first shouted
the reign it fell in got the apple.
What is Man?
|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 The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry:
End of this Project Gutenberg Etext of THE GIFT OF THE MAGI.
The Gift of the Magi