|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Octopus by Frank Norris:
his shirt sleeves, the waistcoat open and showing the soiled
shirt. His hands were stained with ink, and these, the only
members of his body that yet appeared to retain their activity,
were busy with a great pile of papers,--oblong, legal documents,
that littered the table before him. Without a moment's
cessation, these hands of the Governor's came and went among the
papers, deft, nimble, dexterous.
Magnus was sorting papers. From the heap upon his left hand he
selected a document, opened it, glanced over it, then tied it
carefully, and laid it away upon a second pile on his right hand.
When all the papers were in one pile, he reversed the process,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Z. Marcas by Honore de Balzac:
to be tied by the absurdities of the Contract; it is bound, ready to
be the victim.
"Louis XIV., Napoleon, England, all were or are eager for intelligent
youth. In France the young are condemned by the new legislation, by
the blundering principles of elective rights, by the unsoundness of
the ministerial constitution.
"Look at the elective Chamber; you will find no deputies of thirty;
the youth of Richelieu and of Mazarin, of Turenne and of Colbert, of
Pitt and of Saint-Just, of Napoleon and of Prince Metternich, would
find no admission there; Burke, Sheridan, or Fox could not win seats.
Even if political majority had been fixed at one-and-twenty, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Records of a Family of Engineers by Robert Louis Stevenson:
seamen upon a return voyage, were extremely happy, and spent
the evening with much innocent mirth and jollity.
In reflecting upon the state of the matters at the Bell
Rock during the working months, when the writer was much with
the artificers, nothing can equal the happy manner in which
these excellent workmen spent their time. They always went
from Arbroath to their arduous task cheering and they
generally returned in the same hearty state. While at the
rock, between the tides, they amused themselves in reading,
fishing, music, playing cards, draughts, etc., or in sporting
with one another. In the workyard at Arbroath the young men
|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 De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:
curves and colours of the hair, the lips, the eye; so the soul in
its turn has its nutritive functions also, and can transform into
noble moods of thought and passions of high import what in itself
is base, cruel and degrading; nay, more, may find in these its most
august modes of assertion, and can often reveal itself most
perfectly through what was intended to desecrate or destroy.
The fact of my having been the common prisoner of a common gaol I
must frankly accept, and, curious as it may seem, one of the things
I shall have to teach myself is not to be ashamed of it. I must
accept it as a punishment, and if one is ashamed of having been
punished, one might just as well never have been punished at all.