|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Across The Plains by Robert Louis Stevenson:
knapsack the works of Charles of Orleans, and employed some of the
hours of travel in the concoction of English roundels. In this
path, he must thus have preceded Mr. Lang, Mr. Dobson, Mr. Henley,
and all contemporary roundeleers; but for good reasons, he will be
the last to publish the result. The Cigarette walked burthened
with a volume of Michelet. And both these books, it will be seen,
played a part in the subsequent adventure.
The Arethusa was unwisely dressed. He is no precisian in attire;
but by all accounts, he was never so ill-inspired as on that tramp;
having set forth indeed, upon a moment's notice, from the most
unfashionable spot in Europe, Barbizon. On his head he wore a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:
the most different habits of life could not graduate into each other; that
a bat, for instance, could not have been formed by natural selection from
an animal which at first could only glide through the air.
We have seen that a species may under new conditions of life change its
habits, or have diversified habits, with some habits very unlike those of
its nearest congeners. Hence we can understand, bearing in mind that each
organic being is trying to live wherever it can live, how it has arisen
that there are upland geese with webbed feet, ground woodpeckers, diving
thrushes, and petrels with the habits of auks.
Although the belief that an organ so perfect as the eye could have been
formed by natural selection, is more than enough to stagger any one; yet in
On the Origin of Species
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Songs of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
XL. AN END OF TRAVEL - Let now your soul in this substantial world
XLI. We uncommiserate pass into the night
XLII. Sing me a song of a lad that is gone
XLIII. TO S. R. CROCKETT - Blows the wind to-day, and the sun and rain
XLIV. EVENSONG - The embers of the day are red
I - THE VAGABOND (To an air of Schubert)
GIVE to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
|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 $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
were no clashings, no irritations, no fault-finding, no heart-burnings.
In it a lie had no place. In it a lie was unthinkable.
In it speech was restricted to absolute truth, iron-bound truth,
implacable and uncompromising truth, let the resulting consequences
be what they might. At last, one day, under stress of circumstances,
the darling of the house sullied her lips with a lie--and confessed it,
with tears and self-upbraidings. There are not any words that can paint
the consternation of the aunts. It was as if the sky had crumpled
up and collapsed and the earth had tumbled to ruin with a crash.
They sat side by side, white and stern, gazing speechless upon
the culprit, who was on her knees before them with her face