|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
like the Empress might it not be possible really to transact
business? --Blackwood's Magazine.
THE EMPRESS DOWAGER--AS A REACTIONIST
It was between November 1, 1897, and April 16, 1898, that
Germany, Russia, France and England wrested from the weak hands
of the Emperor Kuang Hsu the four best ports in the Chinese
empire, leaving China without a place to rendezvous a fleet. The
whole empire was aroused to indignation, and even in our
Christian schools, every essay, oration, dialogue or debate was a
discussion of some phase of the subject, "How to reform and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:
mumbling and chuckling and shaking of his forefinger, he rose, with
the assistance of his stick, and tottered off.
'Mother!' said Barnaby, 'that's a brave crowd he talks of. Come!'
'Not to join it!' cried his mother.
'Yes, yes,' he answered, plucking at her sleeve. 'Why not? Come!'
'You don't know,' she urged, 'what mischief they may do, where they
may lead you, what their meaning is. Dear Barnaby, for my sake--'
'For your sake!' he cried, patting her hand. 'Well! It IS for your
sake, mother. You remember what the blind man said, about the
gold. Here's a brave crowd! Come! Or wait till I come back--yes,
yes, wait here.'
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic:
"Must I really go down again?" he pleaded. "It's a
crushing penalty to suffer for such little indiscretion.
I was so excited to find you were here--I never stopped
to think. Don't send me away; please don't!"
Celia raised her head. "Well, shut the door, then,"
she said, "since you are so anxious to stay. You would
have done much better, though, very much better indeed,
to have taken the hint and gone away."
"Will you shake hands with me, Celia?" he asked softly,
as he came near her.
"Sit there, please!" she made answer, indicating a
The Damnation of Theron Ware
|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 Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:
"It's a dagger!" Sylvie proclaimed in a peremptory tone.
"Hold your tongues!" And the croaking ceased at once.
Shakespeare has not told us, so far as I know, that Macbeth had any
such eccentric habit as turning head-over-heels in private life: but
Bruno evidently considered it quite an essential part of the character,
and left the stage in a series of somersaults. However, he was back
again in a few moments, having tucked under his chin the end of a tuft
of wool (probably left on the thorn by a wandering sheep), which made a
magnificent beard, that reached nearly down to his feet.
"Shylock!" Sylvie proclaimed. "No, I beg your pardon!" she hastily
corrected herself, "King Lear! I hadn't noticed the crown."
Sylvie and Bruno