|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
imagination, and with hearts that shrank sensitively from the
idea of pain and woe, yet have studied all varieties of misery
that human nature can endure. The prison, the insane asylum, the
squalid chamber of the almshouse, the manufactory where the demon
of machinery annihilates the human soul, and the cotton field
where God's image becomes a beast of burden; to these and every
other scene where man wrongs or neglects his brother, the
apostles of humanity have penetrated. This missionary, black with
India's burning sunshine, shall give his arm to a pale-faced
brother who has made himself familiar with the infected alleys
and loathsome haunts of vice in one of our own cities. The
Mosses From An Old Manse
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Salome by Oscar Wilde:
royaume. N'est-ce pas qu'elle serait tres belle comme reine? . . .
Ah! il fait froid ici! il y a un vent tres froid, et j'entends . . .
pourquoi est-ce que j'entends dans l'air ce battement d'ailes? Oh!
on dirait qu'il y a un oiseau, un grand oiseau noir, qui plane sur
la terrasse. Pourquoi est-ce que je ne peux pas le voir, cet
oiseau? Le battement de ses ailes est terrible. Le vent qui vient
de ses ailes est terrible. C'est un vent froid . . . Mais non, il
ne fait pas froid du tout. Au contraire, il fait tres chaud. Il
fait trop chaud. J'etouffe. Versez-moi l'eau sur les mains.
Donnez-moi de la neige e manger. Degrafez mon manteau. Vite, vite,
degrafez mon manteau . . . Non. Laissez-le. C'est ma couronne qui
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Daisy Miller by Henry James:
"Let us hope she will persuade him," observed Winterbourne.
"She will talk to him all she can; but he doesn't like her to talk
to him," said Miss Daisy, opening her fan. "She's going to try
to get Eugenio to talk to him. But he isn't afraid of Eugenio.
Eugenio's a splendid courier, but he can't make much impression
on Randolph! I don't believe he'll go to bed before eleven."
It appeared that Randolph's vigil was in fact triumphantly prolonged,
for Winterbourne strolled about with the young girl for some
time without meeting her mother. "I have been looking round
for that lady you want to introduce me to," his companion resumed.
"She's your aunt." Then, on Winterbourne's admitting the fact
|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 Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:
host sat on in the empty hail, fondly talking to his guest of his bygone
Paris and fondly learning of the later Paris that the guest had seen. And
thus the two lingered, exchanging their enthusiasms, while the candles
waned, and the long-haired Indians stood silent behind the chairs.
"But we must go to my piano," the host exclaimed. For at length they had
come to a lusty difference of opinion. The Padre, with ears critically
deaf, and with smiling, unconvinced eyes, was shaking his head, while
young Gaston sang Trovatore at him, and beat upon the table with a fork.
"Come and convert me, then," said Padre Ignacio, and he led the way.
"Donizetti I have always admitted. There, at least, is refinement. If the
world has taken to this Verdi, with his street-band music--But there,