|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
wound that was not healed yet. Both tone and shadow struck Amy,
for she had seen and heard them before, and now she looked up
in time to catch a new expression on Laurie's face--a hard bitter
look, full of pain, dissatisfaction, and regret. It was gone before
she could study it and the listless expression back again.
She watched him for a moment with artistic pleasure, thinking
how like an Italian he looked, as he lay basking in the sun
with uncovered head and eyes full of southern dreaminess, for
he seemed to have forgotten her and fallen into a reverie.
"You look like the effigy of a young knight asleep on his
tomb," she said, carefully tracing the well-cut profile defined
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot:
at their vertices a very sharp and formidable angle.
Indeed when their bases are of the most degraded type (not more than
the eighth part of an inch in size), they can hardly be distinguished
from Straight Lines or Women; so extremely pointed are their vertices.
With us, as with you, these Triangles are distinguished from others
by being called Isosceles; and by this name I shall refer to them
in the following pages.
Our Middle Class consists of Equilateral or Equal-Sided Triangles.
Our Professional Men and Gentlemen are Squares (to which class
I myself belong) and Five-Sided Figures or Pentagons.
Next above these come the Nobility, of whom there are several degrees,
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Octopus by Frank Norris:
during the whole course of his dinner, two young Mexicans (one of
whom was astonishingly handsome, after the melodramatic fashion
of his race) and an old fellow! the centenarian of the town,
decrepit beyond belief, sang an interminable love-song to the
accompaniment of a guitar and an accordion.
These Spanish-Mexicans, decayed, picturesque, vicious, and
romantic, never failed to interest Presley. A few of them still
remained in Guadalajara, drifting from the saloon to the
restaurant, and from the restaurant to the Plaza, relics of a
former generation, standing for a different order of things,
absolutely idle, living God knew how, happy with their cigarette,
|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 A Footnote to History by Robert Louis Stevenson:
be remembered, and a strong staff of captains, supercargoes,
overseers, and clerks. These last mess together at a liberal
board; the wages are high, and the staff is inspired with a strong
and pleasing sentiment of loyalty to their employers.
Seven or eight hundred imported men and women toil for the company
on contracts of three or of five years, and at a hypothetical wage
of a few dollars in the month. I am now on a burning question:
the labour traffic; and I shall ask permission in this place only
to touch it with the tongs. Suffice it to say that in Queensland,
Fiji, New Caledonia, and Hawaii it has been either suppressed or
placed under close public supervision. In Samoa, where it still