|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:
Fraulein Sonia raised her face to the sky, and half closed her eyes. "No,
mamma, my face is quite warm. Oh, look, Herr Professor, there are swallows
in flight; they are like a little flock of Japanese thoughts--nicht wahr?"
"Where?" cried the Herr Professor. "Oh yes, I see, by the kitchen chimney.
But why do you say 'Japanese'? Could you not compare them with equal
veracity to a little flock of German thoughts in flight?" He rounded on
me. "Have you swallows in England?"
"I believe there are some at certain seasons. But doubtless they have not
the same symbolical value for the English. In Germany--"
"I have never been to England," interrupted Fraulein Sonia, "but I have
many English acquaintances. They are so cold!" She shivered.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:
This sudden transposition of our roles, this homage, coupled with the
thought--swiftly expressed but as swiftly comprehended--"Here is the
master I have sought, here is my dream embodied!" all that there was
of avowal in the action, grand in its humility, where love betrayed
itself in a region forbidden to the senses,--this whirlwind of
celestial things fell on my heart and crushed it. I felt myself too
small; I wished to die at her feet.
"Ah!" I said, "you surpass us in all things. Can you doubt me?--for
you did doubt me just now, Henriette."
"Not now," she answered, looking at me with ineffable tenderness,
which, for a moment, veiled the light of her eyes. "But seeing you so
The Lily of the Valley
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Pool in the Desert by Sara Jeanette Duncan:
and still unaware that 1596 was in his grave. Simla had gone on
with its dances and dinners and gymkhanas quite as if no crucial
experience were hanging over the heads of three of the people one
met 'everywhere,' and the three people continued to be met
everywhere, although only one of them was unconscious. The women
tried to avoid each other without accenting it, exchanging light
words only as occasion demanded, but they were not clever enough for
Mrs. Gammidge and Mrs. Mickie, who went about saying that Mrs.
Innes's treatment of Madeline Anderson was as ridiculous as it was
inexplicable. 'Did you ever know her to be jealous of anybody
before?' demanded Mrs. Mickie, to which Mrs. Gammidge responded,
|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 Memorabilia by Xenophon:
the suffering when the humour takes him? Again, he who suffers
hardship voluntarily, gaily confronts his troubles, being buoyed on
hope--just as a hunter in pursuit of wild beasts, through hope of
capturing his quarry, finds toil a pleasure--and these are but prizes
of little worth in return for their labours; but what shall we say of
their reward who toil to obtain to themselves good friends, or to
subdue their enemies, or that through strength of body and soul they
may administer their households well, befriend their friends, and
benefit the land which gave them birth? Must we not suppose that these
too will take their sorrows lightly, looking to these high ends? Must
we not suppose that they too will gaily confront existence, who have