|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson:
unfamiliarity: I walk among surprises, for just where you think
you have them, something wrong turns up.
I got a little Law read yesterday, and some German this morning,
but on the whole there are too many amusements going for much work;
as for correspondence, I have neither heart nor time for it to-day.
R. L. S.
Letter: TO MRS. SITWELL
17 HERIOT ROW, EDINBURGH, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1873.
I HAVE been to-day a very long walk with my father through some of
the most beautiful ways hereabouts; the day was cold with an iron,
windy sky, and only glorified now and then with autumn sunlight.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from McTeague by Frank Norris:
and familiar under the moon. The burro moved its head with a
clinking of its bell; and McTeagues mule, dozing on three
legs, changed its weight to another foot, with a long
breath. Everything fell silent again.
"What is it?" muttered the dentist. "If I could only see
something, hear something."
He threw off the blankets, and, rising, climbed to the
summit of the nearest hill and looked back in the direction
in which he and Cribbens had travelled a fortnight before.
For half an hour he waited, watching and listening in vain.
But as he returned to camp, and prepared to roll his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:
four hours over my wife's papers, making out their meaning and
correcting her mistakes, but instead of feeling soothed, I felt
as though some one were standing behind me and rubbing my back
with a rough hand. What was it I wanted? The organization of the
relief fund had come into trustworthy hands, the hungry would be
fed -- what more was wanted?
The four hours of this light work for some reason exhausted me,
so that I could not sit bending over the table nor write. From
below I heard from time to time a smothered moan; it was my wife
sobbing. Alexey, invariably meek, sleepy, and sanctimonious, kept
coming up to the table to see to the candles, and looked at me
|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 Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
on the same spot where she had allowed him to clasp the fastenings of
the chain, but that was all. The old fellow had too great confidence
in himself in fancying himself able to accomplish more; so then he
abstained from love in spite of the merry nuptial songs, the
epithalamiums and jokes which were going on in the rooms beneath where
the dancing was still kept up. He refreshed himself with a drink of
the marriage beverage, which according to custom, had been blessed and
placed near them in a golden cup. The spices warned his stomach well
enough, but not the heart of his dead ardour. Blanche was not at all
astonished at the demeanour of her spouse, because she was a virgin in
mind, and in marriage she saw only that which is visible to the eyes
Droll Stories, V. 1