|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:
his mental dialect than the English do. They are independent and
wide awake, curious and full of personal interest. The wayside
mind in Inverness or Perth runs more to muscle and less to fat, has
more active vanity and less passive pride, is more inquisitive and
excitable and sympathetic--in short, to use a symbolist's
description, it is more apt to be red-headed--than in Surrey or
Somerset. Scotchmen ask more questions about America, but fewer
foolish ones. You will never hear them inquiring whether there is
any good bear-hunting in the neighbourhood of Boston, or whether
Shakespeare is much read in the States. They have a healthy
respect for our institutions, and have quite forgiven (if, indeed,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
effects. In short, you are a minister in petticoats, the only person
here capable of understanding me. It follows, then, that if I have any
sacrifice to ask from you, it is only to yourself I can turn for help
in persuading you.
"I am therefore going to explain to you, quite frankly, my former
plans, to which I still adhere. In order to recommend them to you, I
must show that they are connected with feelings of a very high order,
and I shall thus be obliged to enter into political questions of the
greatest importance to the kingdom, which might be wearisome to any
one less intelligent than you are. When you have heard me, I hope you
will take time for consideration, six months if necessary. You are
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
citizen's clothes?" said Ginevra, impatiently.
"He will have them to-night."
"You ought to have closed the studio for some days."
"He is going away."
"Then they'll kill him," said the girl. "Let him stay here with you
till the present storm is over. Paris is still the only place in
France where a man can be hidden safely. Is he a friend of yours?" she
"No; he has no claim upon me but that of his ill-luck. He came into my
hands in this way. My father-in-law, who returned to the army during
the campaign, met this young fellow, and very cleverly rescued him
|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 Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:
grunting from their feast of mast, the solitary rider who met us,
armed to the teeth, and passed northwards after whispering with
the landlord--all these I saw. But my mind was not with them.
It was groping and feeling about like a hunted mole for some way
of escape. For time pressed. The slope we were on was growing
steeper. By-and-by we fell into a southward valley, and began to
follow it steadily upwards, crossing and recrossing a swiftly
rushing stream. The snow peaks began to be hidden behind the
rising bulk of hills that overhung us, and sometimes we could see
nothing before or behind but the wooded walls of our valley
rising sheer and green a thousand paces high on either hand; with