|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
sake,' says he, 'and sharing my bitter lot with me, and so I
ought,' says he, 'to provide her with every comfort. . . .'
"To make it livelier for the lady he made acquaintance with the
officials and all sorts of riff-raff. And of course he had to
give food and drink to all that crew, and there had to be a piano
and a shaggy lapdog on the sofa -- plague take it! . . . Luxury,
in fact, self-indulgence. The lady did not stay with him long.
How could she? The clay, the water, the cold, no vegetables for
you, no fruit. All around you ignorant and drunken people and no
sort of manners, and she was a spoilt lady from Petersburg or
Moscow. . . . To be sure she moped. Besides, her husband, say
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Contrast by Royall Tyler:
larity, from an affettuoso smile to a piano titter, or full
chorus fortissimo ha, ha, ha! My master employs his
leisure hours in marking out the plays, like a cathedral
chanting-book, that the ignorant may know where to
laugh; and that pit, box, and gallery may keep time
together, and not have a snigger in one part of the
house, a broad grin in the other, and a d---d grum
look in the third. How delightful to see the audience
all smile together, then look on their books, then twist
their mouths into an agreeable simper, then altogether
shake the house with a general ha, ha, ha! loud as a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy:
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?--Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel"
Sir Percy's BON MOT had gone the round of the brilliant
reception-rooms. The Prince was enchanted. He vowed that life
without Blakeney would be but a dreary desert. Then, taking him by
the arm, had led him to the card-room, and engaged him in a long game
Sir Percy, whose chief interest in most social gatherings
seemed to centre round the card-table, usually allowed his wife to
flirt, dance, to amuse or bore herself as much as she liked. And
The Scarlet Pimpernel
|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 Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson:
KIRSTIE had many causes of distress. More and more as we grow old - and
yet more and more as we grow old and are women, frozen by the fear of
age - we come to rely on the voice as the single outlet of the soul.
Only thus, in the curtailment of our means, can we relieve the
straitened cry of the passion within us; only thus, in the bitter and
sensitive shyness of advancing years, can we maintain relations with
those vivacious figures of the young that still show before us and tend
daily to become no more than the moving wall-paper of life. Talk is the
last link, the last relation. But with the end of the conversation,
when the voice stops and the bright face of the listener is turned away,
solitude falls again on the bruised heart. Kirstie had lost her "cannie