|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
enough. The spring has come with its green crop. The very cows
are driven to their country pastures before the end of May;
though I have heard of one unnatural farmer who kept his cow in
the barn and fed her on hay all the year round. So, frequently,
the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge treats its
A man's ignorance sometimes is not only useful, but
beautiful--while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse
than useless, besides being ugly. Which is the best man to deal
with--he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is
extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
lovely change of tone. 'Otto, I beseech you let me save it. Take
this dross from your poor friend who loves you!'
'Madam, madam,' babbled Otto, in the extreme of misery, 'I cannot -
I must go.'
And he half rose; but she was on the ground before him in an
instant, clasping his knees. 'No,' she gasped, 'you shall not go.
Do you despise me so entirely? It is dross; I hate it; I should
squander it at play and be no richer; it is an investment, it is to
save me from ruin. Otto,' she cried, as he again feebly tried to
put her from him, 'if you leave me alone in this disgrace, I will
die here!' He groaned aloud. 'O,' she said, 'think what I suffer!
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
Drowse among dark green weeds. On rainy days,
You'll see a gas-light shedding light behind me--
An eye-shade round my forehead. There I sit,
Twirling the tiny brushes in my paint-cups,
Painting the pale pink rosebuds, minute violets,
Exquisite wreaths of dark green ivy leaves.
On this leaf, goes a dream I dreamed last night
Of two soft-patterned toads--I thought them stones,
Until they hopped! And then a great black spider,--
Tarantula, perhaps, a hideous thing,--
It crossed the room in one tremendous leap.
|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 Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
At the clash of steel, palace guards rushed to the scene from
other parts of the great building until those who would have
defended U-Thor were outnumbered two to one, and then the jed of
Manatos slowly withdrew with his forces, and fighting his way
through the corridors and chambers of the palace came at last to
the avenue. Here he was reinforced by the little army that had
marched with him into Manator. Slowly they retreated toward The
Gate of Enemies between the rows of silent people looking down
upon them from the balconies and there, within the city walls,
they made their stand.
The Chessmen of Mars