|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"I beg you a thousand pardons!" began Mr. Morris, with the most
conciliatory manner; "and, if I appear rude, I am sure you will
readily forgive me. In a place so great as London accidents must
continually happen; and the best that we can hope is to remedy them
with as small delay as possible. I will not deny that I fear you
have made a mistake and honoured my poor house by inadvertence;
for, to speak openly, I cannot at all remember your appearance.
Let me put the question without unnecessary circumlocution -
between gentlemen of honour a word will suffice - Under whose roof
do you suppose yourself to be?"
"That of Mr. Morris," replied the other, with a prodigious display
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
He nodded at me with round eyes.
'Well, then,' I continued, 'she has doubtless reproved you for your
sin of cruelty?'
'Twelve times!' he cried; for this was the phrase by which the odd
creature expressed the sense of frequency. 'And I told her you had
done so - I remembered that,' he added proudly - 'and she was
'Then, Felipe,' said I, 'what were those cries that I heard last
night? for surely they were cries of some creature in suffering.'
'The wind,' returned Felipe, looking in the fire.
I took his hand in mine, at which, thinking it to be a caress, he
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Juana by Honore de Balzac:
strange civilization! In Paris, if a man is incapable of being
anything himself, his wife, when she is young and clever, may give him
other chances for elevation. We sometimes meet with invalid women,
feeble beings apparently, who, without rising from sofas or leaving
their chambers, have ruled society, moved a thousand springs, and
placed their husbands where their ambition or their vanity prompted.
But Juana, whose childhood was passed in her retreat in Tarragona,
knew nothing of the vices, the meannesses, or the resources of
Parisian society; she looked at that society with the curiosity of a
girl, but she learned from it only that which her sorrow and her
wounded pride revealed to her.
|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:
love, to surround him with so many little attentions, to pursue him
with such warm glances, that he would be faithless to friendship, to
the advantage of gallantry.
Everything was in perfect trim for the carrying out of her design,
because of the companionship which the Sire de Lavalliere would be
obliged to have with her during his stay in the hotel, and as there is
nothing in the world can turn a woman from her whim, at every turn the
artful jade was ready to catch him in a trap.
At times she would make him remain seated near her by the fire, until
twelve o'clock at night, singing soft refrains, and at every
opportunity showed her fair shoulders, and the white temptations of
Droll Stories, V. 1