|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Europeans by Henry James:
and was more redundantly upholstered and expensively ornamented.
The Baroness perceived that her entertainer had analyzed material
comfort to a sufficiently fine point. And then he possessed the most
delightful chinoiseries--trophies of his sojourn in the Celestial Empire:
pagodas of ebony and cabinets of ivory; sculptured monsters,
grinning and leering on chimney-pieces, in front of beautifully
figured hand-screens; porcelain dinner-sets, gleaming behind
the glass doors of mahogany buffets; large screens, in corners,
covered with tense silk and embroidered with mandarins and dragons.
These things were scattered all over the house, and they
gave Eugenia a pretext for a complete domiciliary visit.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift:
That standing troops were his aversion:
His practice was, in every station,
To serve the king, and please the nation.
Though hard to find in every case
The fittest man to fill a place:
His promises he ne'er forgot,
But took memorials on the spot:
His enemies, for want of charity,
Said he affected popularity:
'Tis true, the people understood,
That all he did was for their good;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
He thought that as he was lying there in his garden, he saw a procession,
like the train of some great daimyo descending a hill near by, and that he
got up to look at it. A very grand procession it proved to be,-- more
imposing than anything of the kind which he had ever seen before; and it
was advancing toward his dwelling. He observed in the van of it a number of
young men richly appareled, who were drawing a great lacquered
palace-carriage, or gosho-guruma, hung with bright blue silk. When the
procession arrived within a short distance of the house it halted; and a
richly dressed man -- evidently a person of rank -- advanced from it,
approached Akinosuke, bowed to him profoundly, and then said:--
"Honored Sir, you see before you a kerai [vassal] of the Kokuo of Tokoyo.
|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 Hellenica by Xenophon:
voice in opposition, but the majority were strongly in favour of the
proposition, and the resolution was passed to accept the peace. After
that, Lysander sailed into the Piraeus, and the exiles were
readmitted. And so they fell to levelling the fortifications and walls
with much enthusiasm, to the accompaniment of female flute-players,
deeming that day the beginning of liberty to Greece.
Thus the year drew to its close--during its middle months took
place the accession of Dionysius, the son of Hermocrates the
Syracusan, to the tyranny of Syracuse; an incident itself preceded by
a victory gained over the Carthaginians by the Syracusans; the
reduction of Agrigentum through famine by the Carthaginians