|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen:
of asking what he meant? He tried to smile as he replied,
"your sister's engagement to Mr. Willoughby is very generally
"It cannot be generally known," returned Elinor,
"for her own family do not know it."
He looked surprised and said, "I beg your pardon,
I am afraid my inquiry has been impertinent; but I had not
supposed any secrecy intended, as they openly correspond,
and their marriage is universally talked of."
"How can that be? By whom can you have heard
Sense and Sensibility
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Turn of the Screw by Henry James:
but it would have been, in the conditions, an immense added
strain to find myself anxious about hers.
At the hour I now speak of she had joined me, under pressure,
on the terrace, where, with the lapse of the season, the afternoon
sun was now agreeable; and we sat there together while, before us,
at a distance, but within call if we wished, the children
strolled to and fro in one of their most manageable moods.
They moved slowly, in unison, below us, over the lawn, the boy,
as they went, reading aloud from a storybook and passing
his arm round his sister to keep her quite in touch.
Mrs. Grose watched them with positive placidity; then I caught
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:
Now, I think it must be admitted that there is more in
this rhyme to commend it to the public than there is in
"Jack and Jill." If when that remarkable young couple
went for the pail of water, Master Jack had carried it
himself, he would have been entitled to some credit for
gallantry, or if in cracking his crown he had fallen so as to
prevent Miss Jill from "tumbling," or even in such a way
as to break her fall and make it easier for her, there would
have been some reason for the popularity of such a record.
As it is, there is no way to account for it except the fact
|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 Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:
otherwise. For a father sums up in propria persona a whole pedigree
of patriarchs whose superimposed weight of authority is practically
divine. This condition of servitude is never outgrown by the
individual, as it has never been outgrown by the race.
Our boy now begins to go to school; to a day school, it need hardly
be specified, for a boarding school would be entirely out of keeping
with the family life. Here, he is given the "Trimetrical Classic"
to start on, that he may learn the characters by heart, picking up
incidentally what ideas he may. This book is followed by the
"Century of Surnames," a catalogue of all the clan names in China,
studied like the last for the sake of the characters, although the