|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
and most charming girls who could be found to instruct any strangers
who happened to come that way, etc.
All of this the old gentlemen swallowed open-mouthed. There
was, they admitted, reason in what he said, since the contemplation
of the beautiful, as their philosophy taught, induced a certain
porosity of mind similar to that produced upon the physical body
by the healthful influences of sun and air. Consequently it
was probable that we might absorb the Zu-Vendi tongue a little
faster if suitable teachers could be found. Another thing was
that, as the female sex was naturally loquacious, good practice
would be gained in the viva voce department of our studies.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton:
their waves, and turned them into foam; and sometimes I beguiled time
by viewing the harmless lambs; some leaping securely in the cool
shade, whilst others sported themselves in the cheerful sun; and saw
others craving comfort from the swollen udders of their bleating dams.
As I thus sat, these and other sights had so fully possess my soul with
content, that I thought, as the poet has happily express it,
I was for that time lifted above earth:
And possest joys not promis'd in my birth.
As I left this place, and entered into the next field, a second pleasure
entertained me; 'twas a handsome milk-maid, that had not yet attained
so much age and wisdom as to load her mind with any fears of many
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
moment the whole mass of men went surging and jostling backward
down the pier, turning their defenceless backs on their pursuers
and piercing the night with craven outcry.
One coward thrust off the ship's stern, while another still held
her by the bows. The fugitives leaped, screaming, and were hauled
on board, or fell back and perished in the sea. Some were cut down
upon the pier by the pursuers. Many were injured on the ship's
deck in the blind haste and terror of the moment, one man leaping
upon another, and a third on both. At last, and whether by design
or accident, the bows of the Good Hope were liberated; and the
ever-ready Lawless, who had maintained his place at the helm
|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 Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:
be more above board, more prudent, or more irreproachable, for he
punctually attended the services at church on Sundays and holy days.
To enable you to understand how exceptional is such a life, it is
necessary to devote a few words to an account of Besancon. No town
ever offered more deaf and dumb resistance to progress. At Besancon
the officials, the employes, the military, in short, every one engaged
in governing it, sent thither from Paris to fill a post of any kind,
are all spoken of by the expressive general name of /the Colony/. The
colony is neutral ground, the only ground where, as in church, the
upper rank and the townsfolk of the place can meet. Here, fired by a
word, a look, or gesture, are started those feuds between house and