|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson:
student of man's nature. I wrote of Parker that he behaved like a
boy of ten: what was he else, being a slave of sixty? He had
passed all his years in school, fed, clad, thought for, commanded;
and had grown familiar and coquetted with the fear of punishment.
By terror you may drive men long, but not far. Here, in Apemama,
they work at the constant and the instant peril of their lives; and
are plunged in a kind of lethargy of laziness. It is common to see
one go afield in his stiff mat ungirt, so that he walks elbows-in
like a trussed fowl; and whatsoever his right hand findeth to do,
the other must be off duty holding on his clothes. It is common to
see two men carrying between them on a pole a single bucket of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry:
and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they
are wisest. They are the magi.
End of this Project Gutenberg Etext of THE GIFT OF THE MAGI.
The Gift of the Magi
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Last War: A World Set Free by H. G. Wells:
there and haggle like a damned little solicitor for some price,
some compensation, some qualification....'
Firmin shrugged his shoulders and assumed an expression of
despair. Meanwhile, he conveyed, one must eat.
For a time neither spoke, and the king ate and turned over in his
mind the phrases of the speech he intended to make to the
conference. By virtue of the antiquity of his crown he was to
preside, and he intended to make his presidency memorable.
Reassured of his eloquence, he considered the despondent and
sulky Firmin for a space.
'Firmin,' he said, 'you have idealised kingship.' 'It has been
The Last War: A World Set Free
|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 De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:
peasants and the like, know nothing about art, and are the very
salt of the earth. He is the Philistine who upholds and aids the
heavy, cumbrous, blind, mechanical forces of society, and who does
not recognise dynamic force when he meets it either in a man or a
People thought it dreadful of me to have entertained at dinner the
evil things of life, and to have found pleasure in their company.
But then, from the point of view through which I, as an artist in
life, approach them they were delightfully suggestive and
stimulating. The danger was half the excitement. . . . My business
as an artist was with Ariel. I set myself to wrestle with Caliban.