|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
principality. The charcoal burner, the mountain sawyer, the wielder
of the broad axe among the congregated pines of Grunewald, proud of
their hard hands, proud of their shrewd ignorance and almost savage
lore, looked with an unfeigned contempt on the soft character and
manners of the sovereign race.
The precise year of grace in which this tale begins shall be left to
the conjecture of the reader. But for the season of the year
(which, in such a story, is the more important of the two) it was
already so far forward in the spring, that when mountain people
heard horns echoing all day about the north-west corner of the
principality, they told themselves that Prince Otto and his hunt
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
de Fougeres obtained his benefit of the fatal principle to which
society owes the wretched mediocrities to whom are intrusted in these
days the election of leaders in all social classes; who proceed,
naturally, to elect themselves and who wage a bitter war against all
true talent. The principle of election applied indiscriminately is
false, and France will some day abandon it.
Nevertheless the modesty, simplicity, and genuine surprise of the good
and gentle Fougeres silenced all envy and all recriminations. Besides,
he had on his side all of his clan who had succeeded, and all who
expected to succeed. Some persons, touched by the persistent energy of
a man whom nothing had discouraged, talked of Domenichino and said:--
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Disputation of the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences by Dr. Martin Luther:
the buying of pardons to be compared in any way to works of
43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor
or lends to the needy does a better work than buying pardons;
44. Because love grows by works of love, and man becomes
better; but by pardons man does not grow better, only more
free from penalty.
45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a man in
need, and passes him by, and gives [his money] for pardons,
purchases not the indulgences of the pope, but the indignation
|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 Awakening & Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin:
How long are you going to stay out here?"
"I don't know. Will you get the shawl?"
"Of course I will," he said, rising. He went over to the
house, walking along the grass. She watched his figure pass in and
out of the strips of moonlight. It was past midnight. It was very
When he returned with the shawl she took it and kept it in her
hand. She did not put it around her.
"Did you say I should stay till Mr. Pontellier came back?"
"I said you might if you wished to."
He seated himself again and rolled a cigarette, which he
Awakening & Selected Short Stories