|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from American Notes by Rudyard Kipling:
tough virtues, the pick of the earth. The inept and the weakly
died en route, or went under in the days of construction. To
this nucleus were added all the races of the Continent--French,
Italian, German, and, of course, the Jew.
The result you can see in the large-boned, deep-chested,
delicate-handed women, and long, elastic, well-built boys. It
needs no little golden badge swinging from the watch-chain to
mark the native son of the golden West, the country-bred of
Him I love because he is devoid of fear, carries himself like a
man, and has a heart as big as his books. I fancy, too, he knows
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bucolics by Virgil:
Whelps to resemble dogs, and kids their dams,
Comparing small with great; but this as far
Above all other cities rears her head
As cypress above pliant osier towers.
And what so potent cause took you to Rome?
Freedom, which, though belated, cast at length
Her eyes upon the sluggard, when my beard
'Gan whiter fall beneath the barber's blade-
Cast eyes, I say, and, though long tarrying, came,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Koran:
shall be no pause?
But they say, 'O our Lord, hasten for us our share before the day of
Be patient of what they say, and remember our servant David
endowed with might; verily, he turned frequently to us. Verily, we
subjected the mountains to celebrate with him our praises at the
evening and the dawn; and the birds too gathered together, each one
would oft return to him; and we strengthened his kingdom, and we
gave him wisdom and decisive address.
Has there come to thee the story of the antagonists when they scaled
the chamber wall? when they entered in unto David, and he was startled
|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 Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
to the bottom of a huge black frying-pan, to be plucked off with
the lips; and pots of flour to be broken with sticks; so that the
young lads of the village were ducked and blackened and powdered to
an unlimited extent, amid the hilarious applause of the spectators.
In the evening there was more music, and the peasants danced in the
square, the women quietly and rather heavily, but the men with
amazing agility, slapping the soles of their shoes with their
hands, or turning cartwheels in front of their partners. At dark
the festivities closed with a display of fireworks; there were
rockets and bombs and pin-wheels; and the boys had tiny red and
blue lights which they held until their fingers were burned, just