|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dracula by Bram Stoker:
the world or the nether world holds!"
We were all silent, for we knew instinctively that this was only a prelude.
The faces of the others were set, and Harker's grew ashen grey.
Perhaps, he guessed better than any of us what was coming.
She continued, "This is what I can give into the hotch-pot."
I could not but note the quaint legal phrase which she used in such
a place, and with all seriousness. "What will each of you give?
Your lives I know," she went on quickly, "that is easy
for brave men. Your lives are God's, and you can give them
back to Him, but what will you give to me?" She looked
again questionly, but this time avoided her husband's face.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
savage in us, and a savage name is perchance somewhere recorded
as ours. I see that my neighbor, who bears the familiar epithet
William or Edwin, takes it off with his jacket. It does not
adhere to him when asleep or in anger, or aroused by any passion
or inspiration. I seem to hear pronounced by some of his kin at
such a time his original wild name in some jaw-breaking or else
Here is this vast, savage, hovering mother of ours, Nature, lying
all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her
children, as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned from her
breast to society, to that culture which is exclusively an
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
and my regular studies being stopped I read voraciously. I
suppose the greater part of my reading was done between fourteen
and sixteen. I wrote a novel, I wrote fat volumes of journals; I
took myself very seriously in those days."
Before she was fifteen the great struggle of her life began. Dr.
Govindurajulu Naidu, now her husband, is, though of an old and
honourable family, not a Brahmin. The difference of caste roused
an equal opposition, not only on the side of her family, but of
his; and in 1895 she was sent to England, against her will, with
a special scholarship from the Nizam. She remained in England,
with an interval of travel in Italy, till 1898, studying first at
|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 Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
saints and downright villains all delightfully mixed up, and all
treated as one. And then his alchemy! Oh dear, night and day
the experiments are going on, and every man who brings a new
prescription is welcome as a brother. But this alchemy is, you
know, only the material counterpart of a poet's craving for
Beauty, the eternal Beauty. 'The makers of gold and the makers
of verse,' they are the twin creators that sway the world's
secret desire for mystery; and what in my father is the genius of
curiosity--the very essence of all scientific genius--in me is
the desire for beauty. Do you remember Pater's phrase about
Leonardo da Vinci, 'curiosity and the desire of beauty'?"