|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Inland Voyage by Robert Louis Stevenson:
military music. It was not possible to be an Englishman and avoid
a feeling of elation; for the men who followed the drums were
small, and walked shabbily. Each man inclined at his own angle,
and jolted to his own convenience, as he went. There was nothing
of the superb gait with which a regiment of tall Highlanders moves
behind its music, solemn and inevitable, like a natural phenomenon.
Who that has seen it can forget the drum-major pacing in front, the
drummers' tiger-skins, the pipers' swinging plaids, the strange
elastic rhythm of the whole regiment footing it in time - and the
bang of the drum, when the brasses cease, and the shrill pipes take
up the martial story in their place?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
clothed in yellow robes, to the various halls of worship where
they chant their prayers.
Very different from this is the Confucian Temple only a quarter
of a mile away. Here we find neither priest nor idol--nothing but
a small board tablet to "Confucius, the teacher of ten thousand
ages" with those of his most faithful and worthy disciples. In
the court on each side are rows of buildings--that on the east
containing the tablets of seventy-eight virtuous men; that on the
west the tablets of fifty-four learned men; eighty-six of these
were pupils of the Sage, while the remainder were men who
accepted his teachings. No Taoists, however learned; no