|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
There is also a famous echo farther up the lake, which repeats six
syllables with accuracy. It is a strange coincidence that there
are just six syllables in the name of "der heilige Wolfgang." But
when you translate it into English, the inspiration of the echo
seems to be less exact. The sweetest thing about St. Wolfgang was
the abundance of purple cyclamens, clothing the mountain meadows,
and filling the air with delicate fragrance like the smell of
lilacs around a New England farmhouse in early June.
There was still one stretch of the river above Ischl left for the
last evening's sport. I remember it so well: the long, deep place
where the water ran beside an embankment of stone, and the big
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Pool of Blood in the Pastor's Study by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
steps leading up to this altar were covered by a large rug with a
white ground and a pattern of flowers. Looking carefully at it the
detective saw a tiny brown spot, the mark of a burn, upon one of the
white surfaces. Beside it lay a half used match.
Walking around this carefully, Muller approached the candlestick
that interested him and holding up his light he examined every inch
of its surface. He found what he was looking for. There were dark
red spots between the rough edges of the silver ornamentation.
"Then the body is somewhere around here," thought the detective and
came down from the steps, still holding the burning candle.
He walked slowly to the back of the altar. There was a little table
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
The stranger turned towards her, and the goodness in his face made her
"Have faith," he said, "and you will be saved."
"May God reward you, good sir," she answered. "If what you say is
true, I will go on pilgrimage barefooted to Our Lady of Loretto to
pray to her for you and for me."
The two peasants, father and son, were silent, patient, and submissive
to the will of God, like folk whose wont it is to fall in
instinctively with the ways of Nature like cattle. At the one end of
the boat stood riches, pride, learning, debauchery, and crime--human
society, such as art and thought and education and worldly interests
|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 Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"Nobody he go there?" I asked.
"No good," said he. "Too much devil he stop there."
"Oho!" says I, "got-um plenty devil, that bush?"
"Man devil, woman devil; too much devil," said my friend. "Stop
there all-e-time. Man he go there, no come back."
I thought if this fellow was so well posted on devils and spoke of
them so free, which is not common, I had better fish for a little
information about myself and Uma.
"You think me one devil?" I asked.
"No think devil," said he soothingly. "Think all-e-same fool."
"Uma, she devil?" I asked again.