|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Sir John Mandeville:
than they. For all other nations, they say, be but blind in
cunning and working in comparison to them. I did great business
for to have learned that craft, but the master told me that he had
made avow to his god to teach it to no creature, but only to his
Also above the emperor's table and the other tables, and above a
great part in the hall, is a vine made of fine gold. And it
spreadeth all about the hall. And it hath many clusters of grapes,
some white, some green, some yellow and some red and some black,
all of precious stones. The white be of crystal and of beryl and
of iris; the yellow be of topazes; the red be of rubies and of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:
magnificent screen of wrought-iron and carved wood had been
erected around the couch; rich and beautiful tapestries brought
from Italy and Flanders were hung upon the walls; cushions of
velvets and silks stuffed with down covered benches and chairs.
The floor of the hall was spread with mats of rushes stained in
various colors, woven into curious patterns, and in the smaller
rooms precious carpets of arras were laid on the cold stones.
All of the cadets of the House had been assembled; all of the
gentlemen in waiting, retainers and clients. The castle seemed
full to overflowing; even the dormitory of the squires was used
as a lodging place for many of the lesser gentry.
Men of Iron
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Pool in the Desert by Sara Jeanette Duncan:
abasement instead of her salvation. 'I wish--'
'You're not going--you're not! You can't! Look!'
I pulled it out of my pocket and thrust it at her--the telegram. It
came, against every regulation, from my good friend the Deputy
Adjutant-General, in Simla, and it read, 'Row Khurram 12th probably
ordered front three hours' time.'
Her face changed--how my heart leaped to see it change!--and that
took command there which will command trampling, even in the women
of the camp, at news like this.
'What luck that Bob couldn't take his furlough!' she exclaimed,
single-thoughted. 'But you have known this for hours'--there was
|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 The Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
you with despair."
The old man sat down on a stool and held his head in his hands for
some minutes in silence.
"Master," said Porbus at length, "I studied that throat from the nude;
but, to our sorrow, there are effects in nature which become false or
impossible when placed on canvas."
"The mission of art is not to copy nature, but to represent it. You
are not an abject copyist, but a poet," cried the old man, hastily
interrupting Porbus with a despotic gesture. "If it were not so, a
sculptor could reach the height of his art by merely moulding a woman.
Try to mould the hand of your mistress, and see what you will get,--