|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Legend of Montrose by Walter Scott:
comes to relieve him. If he ordered us a late dinner, Ranald, he
is like to be the sufferer;--at what hour, my good Ranald, did
the jailor usually appear?"
"Never till the sun was beneath the western wave," said MacEagh.
"Then, my friend, we shall have three hours good," said the
cautious Captain. "In the meantime, let us labour for your
To examine Ranald's chain was the next occupation. It was undone
by means of one of the keys which hung behind the private door,
probably deposited there, that the Marquis might, if he pleased,
dismiss a prisoner, or remove him elsewhere without the necessity
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lemorne Versus Huell by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard:
vast, silent, and splendid in the sunshine. I found a seat on the
ruins of an old stone-wall, among some tangled bushes and briers.
There being no Aunt Eliza to pull through the surf, and no animated
bathers near, I discovered the beauty of the sea, and that I loved
Presently I heard the steps of a horse, and, to my astonishment,
Mr. Uxbridge rode past. I was glad he did not know me. I watched
him as he rode slowly down the road, deep in thought. He let drop
the bridle, and the horse stopped, as if accustomed to the
circumstance, and pawed the ground gently, or yawed his neck for
pastime. Mr. Uxbridge folded his arms and raised his head to look
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Polly of the Circus by Margaret Mayo:
tell them some bit of village gossip, and leave them laughing at
a quaint comment about some inquisitive sister of the church, who
had happened to incur her displeasure.
As spring came on, Douglas carried Polly down to the sun-lit
garden beneath the window; and Mandy fluttered about arranging
the cushions with motherly solicitude.
More days slipped by, and Polly began to creep through the
little, soft-leaved trees at the back of the church, and to look
for the deep, blue, sweet-scented violets. When she was able,
Douglas took her with him to visit some of the outlying houses of
the poor. Her woman's instinct was quick to perceive many small
|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 Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner:
Sitting there with his arms folded on his knees, and his hat slouched down
over his face, Waldo looked out into the yellow sunshine that tinted even
the very air with the colour of ripe corn, and was happy.
He was an uncouth creature with small learning, and no prospect in the
future but that of making endless tables and stone walls, yet it seemed to
him as he sat there that life was a rare and very rich thing. He rubbed
his hands in the sunshine. Ah, to live on so, year after year, how well!
Always in the present; letting each day glide, bringing its own labour, and
its own beauty; the gradual lighting up of the hills, night and the stars,
firelight and the coals! To live on so, calmly, far from the paths of men;
and to look at the lives of clouds and insects; to look deep into the heart