|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:
I could read much of the rest for ever. Of Moliere - surely the
next greatest name of Christendom - I could tell a very similar
story; but in a little corner of a little essay these princes are
too much out of place, and I prefer to pay my fealty and pass on.
How often I have read GUY MANNERING, ROB ROY, OR REDGAUNTLET, I
have no means of guessing, having begun young. But it is either
four or five times that I have read THE EGOIST, and either five or
six that I have read the VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE.
Some, who would accept the others, may wonder that I should have
spent so much of this brief life of ours over a work so little
famous as the last. And, indeed, I am surprised myself; not at my
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther:
It must not step out of character and take the place of anything else. What
is the function of the Law? "Transgression," answers the Apostle.
The Twofold Purpose of the Law
The Law has a twofold purpose. One purpose is civil. God has ordained
civil laws to punish crime. Every law is given to restrain sin. Does it not
then make men righteous? No. In refraining from murder, adultery,
theft, or other sins, I do so under compulsion because I fear the jail, the
noose, the electric chair. These restrain me as iron bars restrain a lion and
a bear. Otherwise they would tear everything to pieces. Such forceful
restraint cannot be regarded as righteousness, rather as an indication of
unrighteousness. As a wild beast is tied to keep it from running amuck, so
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
and Balearians. The Mercenaries, recognising several of the proper
names which had met their ears, were convinced that he was accurately
reporting the Suffet's speech. A few cried out to him, "You lie!" but
their voices were drowned in the tumult of the rest; Spendius added:
"Have you not seen that he has left a reserve of his horse-soldiers
outside the camp? At a given signal they will hasten hither to slay
The Barbarians turned in that direction, and as the crowd was then
scattering, there appeared in the midst of them, and advancing with
the slowness of a phantom, a human being, bent, lean, entirely naked,
and covered down to his flanks with long hair bristling with dried
|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 Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"My lord," returned Sir Daniel, "beauty will be the more beholden,
misdoubt it not. But shall we forth? for the sooner ye have seen
my merchandise, the sooner shall we both get home."
"But why keep ye her here, good knight?" inquired the other. "An
she be so young, and so fair, and so wealthy, why do ye not bring
her forth among her mates? Ye would soon make her a good marriage,
and no need to freeze your fingers and risk arrow-shots by going
abroad at such untimely seasons in the dark."
"I have told you, my lord," replied Sir Daniel, "the reason thereof
concerneth me only. Neither do I purpose to explain it farther.
Suffice it, that if ye be weary of your old gossip, Daniel