|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:
tease him about his collection of minerals. On another occasion
he came almost completely to grief by flinging a whole dish of
cutlets at an officer who was acting as steward, attacking him
and, it was said, striking him for having broken his word and
told a barefaced lie. He would certainly have been reduced to
the ranks had not the Director of the College hushed up the whole
matter and dismissed the steward.
By the time he was eighteen he had finished his College course
and received a commission as lieutenant in an aristocratic
regiment of the Guards.
The Emperor Nicholas Pavlovich (Nicholas I) had noticed him while
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Enchanted Island of Yew by L. Frank Baum:
to get confused.
"Well, well; I am sorry he did not pay my castle a visit," declared
the baron. "He is very small and slight to be traveling this dangerous
country alone, and I might have advised him as to his welfare."
Seseley thought that Prince Marvel would need no advice from any one
as to his conduct; but she wisely refrained from speaking this
thought, and the old baron walked away to glance through a slit in the
stone wall at the figure of the now distant knight.
Prince Marvel was riding swiftly toward the brow of the hill, and
shortly his great war-horse mounted the ascent and disappeared on its
The Enchanted Island of Yew
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
of love; he refused the possession of a son of twenty to a woman whose
dazzling skin, and arched eyebrows, and lashes still unblemished, were
the objects of his admiration, and whose abundant black hair, parted
on the forehead into simple bands, bought out the youthfulness of an
intelligent head. The slight lines of the brow, far from indicating
age, revealed young passions. Though the piercing eyes were somewhat
veiled, it was either from the fatigue of travelling or the too
frequent expression of excitement. Corentin remarked that she was
wrapped in a mantle of English material, and that the shape of her
hat, foreign no doubt, did not belong to any of the styles called
Greek, which ruled the Parisian fashions of the period. Corentin was
|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 Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte:
great; but I knew (at least I believed) unremitting patience and
perseverance could overcome them; and night and morning I implored
Divine assistance to this end. But either the children were so
incorrigible, the parents so unreasonable, or myself so mistaken in
my views, or so unable to carry them out, that my best intentions
and most strenuous efforts seemed productive of no better result
than sport to the children, dissatisfaction to their parents, and
torment to myself.
The task of instruction was as arduous for the body as the mind. I
had to run after my pupils to catch them, to carry or drag them to
the table, and often forcibly to hold them there till the lesson