|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Legend of Montrose by Walter Scott:
would have been at once impolitic, and unbecoming his military
character; so the Captain, putting the best face upon his
situation he could, whistled a Swedish retreat, in a tone still
louder than the notes of his sentinel; and retreating pace by
pace, with an air of indifference, as if his only purpose had
been to breathe a little fresh air, he shut the door in the face
of his guard, when the fellow had approached within a few paces
It is very well, thought the Ritt-master to himself; he annuls my
parole by putting guards upon me, for, as we used to say at
Mareschal-College, FIDES ET FIDUCIA SUNT RELATIVA [See Note I];
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:
but compelled speedily to drive off the remembrance. It racked me
to recall past happiness and the greater peril there was of
conjuring up its apparition, the quicker the thible ran round, and
the faster the handfuls of meal fell into the water. Joseph beheld
my style of cookery with growing indignation.
'Thear!' he ejaculated. 'Hareton, thou willn't sup thy porridge
to-neeght; they'll be naught but lumps as big as my neive. Thear,
agean! I'd fling in bowl un' all, if I wer ye! There, pale t'
guilp off, un' then ye'll hae done wi' 't. Bang, bang. It's a
mercy t' bothom isn't deaved out!'
It WAS rather a rough mess, I own, when poured into the basins;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:
with horror towards the door, from which came the sounds of men's
voices. The visitors had taken her by surprise in the very throes
"Who has come, mother?" I asked.
"Sister," I heard my uncle's voice, "will you send in something
to eat for the governor and me?"
"It is easy to say 'something to eat,' " whispered my mother,
numb with horror. "What have I time to get ready now? I am put to
shame in my old age!"
Mother clutched at her head and ran into the kitchen. The
governor's sudden visit stirred and overwhelmed the whole
|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 Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay:
place at Bull Run, about thirty-two miles southwest of
Washington, on July 21, 1861. It ended in a victory for the
Confederates, though their army was so badly crippled by. its
losses that it made no further forward movement during the whole
of the next autumn and winter.
The shock of this defeat was deep and painful to the people of
the North, not yet schooled to patience, or to the uncertainties
of war. For weeks the newspapers, confident of success, had been
clamoring for action, and the cry, "Forward to Richmond," had
been heard on every hand. At first the people would not believe
the story of a defeat; but it was only too true. By night the