|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:
his hail at sight of me began to have less of the ring of a war-
slogan; soon, we never met but he produced his snuff-box, which was
with him, like the calumet with the Red Indian, a part of the
heraldry of peace; and at length, in the ripeness of time, we grew
to be a pair of friends, and when I lived alone in these parts in
the winter, it was a settled thing for John to "give me a cry" over
the garden wall as he set forth upon his evening round, and for me
to overtake and bear him company.
That dread voice of his that shook the hills when he was angry,
fell in ordinary talk very pleasantly upon the ear, with a kind of
honied, friendly whine, not far off singing, that was eminently
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Fables by Robert Louis Stevenson:
laid down always in our books. How cheering!" he cried, in a voice
like one that wept. "How comforting!"
"I require no such proofs," said the virtuous person.
"Then you have no reasonable faith," said the priest.
"Great is the right, and shall prevail!" cried the virtuous person.
"There is loyalty in my soul; be sure, there is loyalty in the mind
"These are but playings upon words," returned the priest. "A
sackful of such trash is nothing to the peacock."
Just then they passed a country farm, where there was a peacock
seated on a rail; and the bird opened its mouth and sang with the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll:
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't--
till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for
`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice
`When _I_ use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful
tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor
`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you CAN make words mean
so many different things.'
`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master--
Through the Looking-Glass
|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 Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
watering-place with a rich patient; in fact, he was making a
practice for him. The consequence was that in the course of time
the Tyrant of surgery had a devoted ally. These two men--one at
the summit of honor and of his science, enjoying an immense
fortune and an immense reputation; the other a humble Omega,
having neither fortune nor fame--became intimate friends.
The great Desplein told his house surgeon everything; the
disciple knew whether such or such a woman had sat on a chair
near the master, or on the famous couch in Desplein's surgery, on
which he slept. Bianchon knew the mysteries of that temperament,
a compound of the lion and the bull, which at last expanded and