|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Vision Splendid by William MacLeod Raine:
wept. As they swung down Powers Avenue they passed motor car after
motor car filled with gay parties returning from the theaters. He
glimpsed young women in furs, wrapped from the cruelty of life by
the caste system in which wealth had incased them. Once a ripple
of merry laughter floated to him across the gulf that separated
this girl from them.
A year ago her laughter had been light as theirs. Life had been a
thing beautiful, full of color. She had come to it eagerly, like a
lover, glad because it was so good.
But it had not been good to her. By the cluster lights he could
see how fearfully it had mauled her, how cruelly its irony had
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
hour that remained was the hardest. Up over loose, broken stones
that rolled beneath our feet, up over great slopes of rough rock,
up across little fields of snow where we paused to celebrate the
Fourth of July with a brief snowball fight, up along a narrowing
ridge with a precipice on either hand, and so at last to the
summit, 8600 feet above the sea.
It is not a great height, but it is a noble situation. For Nuvolau
is fortunately placed in the very centre of the Dolomites, and so
commands a finer view than many a higher mountain. Indeed, it is
not from the highest peaks, according to my experience, that one
gets the grandest prospects, but rather from those of middle