|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
pleasures. I can excuse a person combating my religious or
philosophical heresies, because them I have deliberately accepted,
and am ready to justify by present argument. But I do not seek to
justify my pleasures. If I prefer tame scenery to grand, a little
hot sunshine over lowland parks and woodlands to the war of the
elements round the summit of Mont Blanc; or if I prefer a pipe of
mild tobacco, and the company of one or two chosen companions, to a
ball where I feel myself very hot, awkward, and weary, I merely state
these preferences as facts, and do not seek to establish them as
principles. This is not the general rule, however, and accordingly
the waitress was shocked, as one might be at a heresy, to hear the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:
patches on the water, while now and again dragon-flies dart
through the sleepy hum of insect life, like bright thoughts
flashing across a reverie. Now, isn't that nice? I really don't
know how I do it. But to resume. No one knew of our turning
aside- no one will see us return. For us the universe is
standing still. And there's the tea. Come, madam wife, sit by
my side, and let the world slip; we shall ne'er be younger."
She looked at me critically, bending her brows. Then:
"I should never have married you," she said, "if I had known
there was insanity in your family."
Tea was set out under the trees on the lawn, between the house
The Brother of Daphne
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Koran:
people thereof with trouble and distress, that haply they might humble
themselves; and then did we give them, in exchange for evil, good,
until they increased and said, 'Distress and joy both touched our
fathers;' then we overtook them suddenly ere they could perceive.- Had
the people of the town but believed and feared, we would have opened
up for them blessings from the heavens and from the earth; but they
said it was a lie, so we overtook them for that which they had earned.
Were the people of these cities then secure that our violence
would not come on them by night, while they slept? were the people
of these cities secure that our violence would not come on them in the
morning whilst they played? were they secure from the craft of God.?
|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 Voice of the City by O. Henry:
"People might like you, Old Bryson," said Gillian,
always unruffled, "if you wouldn't moralize. I asked
you to tell me what I could do with a thousand
"You?" said Bryson, with a gentle laugh.
"Why, Bobby Gillian, there's only one logical thing
you could do. You can go buy Miss Lotta Lauriere
a diamond pendant with the money, and then take
yourself off to Idaho and inflict, your presence upon a
ranch. I advise a sheep ranch, as I have a particular
dislike for sheep."
The Voice of the City