|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson:
feet, and the next moment he fell heavily on the floor. The fit or
seizure endured not very long; he came to himself vacantly, put his
hand to his head, which I was then supporting, and says he, in a
broken voice: "I have been ill," and a little after: "Help me."
I got him to his feet, and he stood pretty well, though he kept
hold of the table. "I have been ill, Mackellar," he said again.
"Something broke, Mackellar - or was going to break, and then all
swam away. I think I was very angry. Never you mind, Mackellar;
never you mind, my man. I wouldnae hurt a hair upon your head.
Too much has come and gone. It's a certain thing between us two.
But I think, Mackellar, I will go to Mrs. Henry - I think I will go
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sanitary and Social Lectures by Charles Kingsley:
that selfish one: womanly pity and tenderness; love for, and
desire to imitate, a certain Incarnate ideal of self-sacrifice,
who is at once human and divine. But that motive of saving the
soul, which is too often openly proposed and proffered, is utterly
unheroic. The desire to escape pains and penalties hereafter by
pains and penalties here; the balance of present loss against
future gain--what is this but selfishness extended out of this
world into eternity? "Not worldliness," indeed, as a satirist
once said with bitter truth, "but other-worldliness."
Moreover--and the young and the enthusiastic should also bear this
in mind--though heroism means the going beyond the limits of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Peter Pan by James M. Barrie:
reflected. The bird covered her face with her wings, so as not
to see the last of them; but she could not help peeping between
I forget whether I have told you that there was a stave on the
rock, driven into it by some buccaneers of long ago to mark the
site of buried treasure. The children had discovered the
glittering hoard, and when in a mischievous mood used to fling
showers of moidores, diamonds, pearls and pieces of eight to the
gulls, who pounced upon them for food, and then flew away, raging
at the scurvy trick that had been played upon them. The stave
was still there, and on it Starkey had hung his hat, a deep
|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 Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
"I have only known him in his own house," said Bixiou, "but we may
have seen each other in the street in the old days."
"The prosperity of the firm of Nucingen is one of the most
extraordinary things seen in our days," began Blondet. "In 1804
Nucingen's name was scarcely known. At that time bankers would have
shuddered at the idea of three hundred thousand francs' worth of his
acceptances in the market. The great capitalist felt his inferiority.
How was he to get known? He suspended payment. Good! Every market rang
with a name hitherto only known in Strasbourg and the Quartier
Poissonniere. He issued deposit certificates to his creditors, and
resumed payment; forthwith people grew accustomed to his paper all