|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:
own. This done, I returned to Marie and the trek-Boers.
On the morning after my return to the camp Piet Retief appeared there
with his five or six companions. I asked him how he had got on with
"Well enough, nephew," he answered. "At first the king was somewhat
angry, saying that we Boers had stolen six hundred head of his cattle.
But I showed him that it was the chief, Sikonyela, who lives yonder on
the Caledon River, who had dressed up his people in white men's clothes
and put them upon horses, and afterwards drove the cattle through one of
our camps to make it appear that we were the thieves. Then he asked me
what was my object in visiting him. I answered that I sought a grant of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Essays & Lectures by Oscar Wilde:
protests against science imagining that, by explaining the natural
causes of things, it has explained away their transcendental
meaning. 'When the tears on the cheek of some holy statue have
been analysed into the moisture which certain temperatures produce
on wood and marble, it yet by no means follows that they were not a
sign of grief and mourning set there by God Himself.' When Lampon
saw in the prodigy of the one-horned ram the omen of the supreme
rule of Pericles, and when Anaxagoras showed that the abnormal
development was the rational resultant of the peculiar formation of
the skull, the dreamer and the man of science were both right; it
was the business of the latter to consider how the prodigy came
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
Forced to make the selection for itself, which in former days the
examining jury made for it, the attention of the public is soon
wearied and the exhibition closes. Before the year 1817 the pictures
admitted never went beyond the first two columns of the long gallery
of the old masters; but in that year, to the great astonishment of the
public, they filled the whole space. Historical, high-art, genre
paintings, easel pictures, landscapes, flowers, animals, and water-
colors,--these eight specialties could surely not offer more than
twenty pictures in one year worthy of the eyes of the public, which,
indeed, cannot give its attention to a greater number of such works.
The more the number of artists increases, the more careful and
|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 Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen:
creation of the world.
"Ah, that is superbe!" said the Princess when she passed by. "I have never
heard prettier compositions! Go in and ask him the price of the instrument;
but mind, he shall have no more kisses!"
"He will have a hundred kisses from the Princess!" said the lady who had been
"I think he is not in his right senses!" said the Princess, and walked on, but
when she had gone a little way, she stopped again. "One must encourage art,"
said she, "I am the Emperor's daughter. Tell him he shall, as on yesterday,
have ten kisses from me, and may take the rest from the ladies of the court."
"Oh--but we should not like that at all!" said they. "What are you muttering?"