|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:
Chevalier alone that was to be commended. I have the more pleasure
in pointing to this really very noble trait of my esteemed
correspondent, as I fear I may have wounded him immediately before.
I have refrained from comments on any of his extraordinary and (in
my eyes) immoral opinions, for I know him to be jealous of respect.
But his version of the quarrel is really more than I can reproduce;
for I knew the Master myself, and a man more insusceptible of fear
is not conceivable. I regret this oversight of the Chevalier's,
and all the more because the tenor of his narrative (set aside a
few flourishes) strikes me as highly ingenuous.
CHAPTER IV. - PERSECUTIONS ENDURED BY MR. HENRY.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tales of the Klondyke by Jack London:
"That's why I told you about my shack. I can stow you there so
they'll never find you, and I've got grub in plenty. Elsewise you
can't get away. No dogs, no nothing, the sea closed, St. Michael
the nearest post, runners to carry the news before you, the same
over the portage to Anvik--not a chance in the world for you! Now
wait with me till it blows over. They'll forget all about you in
a month or less, what of stampeding to York and what not, and you
can hit the trail under their noses and they won't bother. I've
got my own ideas of justice. When I ran after you, out of the El
Dorado and along the beach, it wasn't to catch you or give you up.
My ideas are my own, and that's not one of them."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:
patience had wrought pictures of birds, and hangings over the doors,
worth more than the portress that opened them.
" 'And that is what /you/ ought to have, my pretty lady.--And that is
what I should like to offer you,' he would conclude. 'I am quite aware
that you scarcely care a bit about me; but, at my age, we cannot
expect too much. Judge how much I love you; I have lent you a thousand
francs. I must confess that, in all my born days, I have not lent
anybody /that/ much----'
"He held out his penny as he spoke, with the important air of a man
that gives a learned demonstration.
"That evening at the Varietes, Antonia spoke to the Count.
|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 Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Tiapolo big chief devil, stop home; all-e-same Christian devil."
"Well then," said I, "I'm no farther forward. How can Case be
"No all-e-same," said she. "Ese belong Tiapolo; Tiapolo too much
like; Ese all-e-same his son. Suppose Ese he wish something,
Tiapolo he make him."
"That's mighty convenient for Ese," says I. "And what kind of
things does he make for him?"
Well, out came a rigmarole of all sorts of stories, many of which
(like the dollar he took from Mr. Tarleton's head) were plain
enough to me, but others I could make nothing of; and the thing