|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Montezuma's Daughter by H. Rider Haggard:
rescue, but it chanced that before I went I caught a Tlascalan who
could speak Spanish, and who had deserted from the army of Cortes
because of the hardships that he suffered in their toilsome march.
This man was present at the murder of Guatemoc and his companions,
and heard the Emperor's last words. It seems that some knave had
betrayed to Cortes that an attempt would be made to rescue the
prince, and that thereon Cortes commanded that he should be hung.
It seems also that Guatemoc met his death as he had met the
misfortunes of his life, proudly and without fear. These were his
last words: 'I did ill, Malinche, when I held my hand from taking
my own life before I surrendered myself to you. Then my heart told
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Foolish Virgin by Thomas Dixon:
Ella had upset his nerves, and the unexpressed
hostility of Jane had completely crushed his spirits.
He tried to talk once, stammered and lapsed into a
sullen silence from which nothing could stir him.
The two girls at last began to discuss their own
affairs and the dinner ended in a sickening failure
that depressed and angered Mary.
The agony over at last, she rose and turned to Jim:
"You can go now, sir--I'll take Jane home with me
for a friendly chat."
"Thank God!" he whispered, grinning in spite of his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Bucolics by Virgil:
Of yonder veteran beeches, all the land
Was by the songs of your Menalcas saved.
Heard it you had, and so the rumour ran,
But 'mid the clash of arms, my Lycidas,
Our songs avail no more than, as 'tis said,
Doves of Dodona when an eagle comes.
Nay, had I not, from hollow ilex-bole
Warned by a raven on the left, cut short
The rising feud, nor I, your Moeris here,
No, nor Menalcas, were alive to-day.
|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 Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
a hundred thousand francs. You can paint all three,--perhaps they'll
turn out family portraits."
And with that the old Dutch log of wood who passed for a man and who
was called Elie Magus, interrupted himself to laugh an uncanny laugh
which frightened the painter. He fancied he heard Mephistopheles
"Portraits bring five hundred francs apiece," went on Elie; "so you
can very well afford to paint me three pictures."
"True for you!" cried Fougeres, gleefully.
"And if you marry the girl, you won't forget me."
"Marry! I?" cried Pierre Grassou,--"I, who have a habit of sleeping