|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Reminiscences of Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy:
expectation of that awakening.
Apropos of the "Circle of Reading," I cannot refrain from
relating a characteristic incident which I was told by one of my
When my father had made up his mind to compile that collection
of the sayings of the wise, to which he gave the name of "Circle
of Reading," he told one of his friends about it.
A few days afterward this friend came to see him again, and at
once told him that he and his wife had been thinking over his
scheme for the new book and had come to the conclusion that he
ought to call it "For Every Day," instead of "Circle of Reading."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dark Lady of the Sonnets by George Bernard Shaw:
I love to hear her speak; yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound.
I grant I never saw a goddess go:
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
Take this as a sample of the sort of compliment from which she was
never for a moment safe with Shakespear. Bear in mind that she was
not a comedian; that the Elizabethan fashion of treating brunettes as
ugly woman must have made her rather sore on the subject of her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Edition of The Ambassadors by Henry James:
inspiration of all!) a conception of carrying the war into the
enemy's country by showing surprise at the enemy's ignorance.
He had always had a notion that this last was the grand style of
fighting; the greater therefore the reason for it, as he couldn't
remember that he had ever before fought in the grand style. Every
one, according to this, knew Miss Gostrey: how came it Chad didn't
know her? The difficulty, the impossibility, was really to escape
it; Strether put on him, by what he took for granted, the burden
of proof of the contrary. This tone was so far successful as that
Chad quite appeared to recognise her as a person whose fame had
reached him, but against his acquaintance with whom much mischance
|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 Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:
development of her destiny, and whose final appearance is outside the
church, waiting to greet the Happy Pair!"
"Yes, my Lady, change at Fayfield," were the next words I heard
(oh that too obsequious Guard!), "next station but one." And the door
closed, and the lady settled down into her corner, and the monotonous
throb of the engine (making one feel as if the train were some gigantic
monster, whose very circulation we could feel) proclaimed that we were
once more speeding on our way. "The lady had a perfectly formed nose,"
I caught myself saying to myself, "hazel eyes, and lips--" and here
it occurred to me that to see, for myself, what "the lady" was really
like, would be more satisfactory than much speculation.
Sylvie and Bruno