|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lesson of the Master by Henry James:
"I shall be delighted - I haven't written so very many," Overt
pleaded, feeling, and without resentment, that the General at least
was vagueness itself about that. But he wondered a little why,
expressing this friendly disposition, it didn't occur to the
doubtless eminent soldier to pronounce the word that would put him
in relation with Mrs. St. George. If it was a question of
introductions Miss Fancourt - apparently as yet unmarried - was far
away, while the wife of his illustrious confrere was almost between
them. This lady struck Paul Overt as altogether pretty, with a
surprising juvenility and a high smartness of aspect, something
that - he could scarcely have said why - served for mystification.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:
thither, two little scullions at fisticuffs, and a kitchen girl
standing in the door-way scratching her frowzy head.
It was all like a puppetshow of real life, each acting
unconsciously a part in the play. The cool wind came in through
the rustling leaves and fanned their cheeks, hot with the climb
up the winding stair-way.
"We will call it our Eyry," said Gascoyne "and we will be the
hawks that live here." And that was how it got its name.
The next day Myles had the armorer make him a score of large
spikes, which he and Gascoyne drove between the ivy branches and
into the cement of the wall, and so made a safe passageway by
Men of Iron
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson:
old lord soon set his heart upon her marrying the other. Day in,
day out, he would work upon her, sitting by the chimney-side with
his finger in his Latin book, and his eyes set upon her face with a
kind of pleasant intentness that became the old gentleman very
well. If she wept, he would condole with her like an ancient man
that has seen worse times and begins to think lightly even of
sorrow; if she raged, he would fall to reading again in his Latin
book, but always with some civil excuse; if she offered, as she
often did, to let them have her money in a gift, he would show her
how little it consisted with his honour, and remind her, even if he
should consent, that Mr. Henry would certainly refuse. NON VI SED
|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 Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"Good Master Shelton," said the other, "prithee forgive me. I have
none the least intention to offend. Rather I would in every way
beseech your gentleness and favour, for I am now worse bested than
ever, having lost my way, my cloak, and my poor horse. To have a
riding-rod and spurs, and never a horse to sit upon! And before
all," he added, looking ruefully upon his clothes - "before all, to
be so sorrily besmirched!"
"Tut!" cried Dick. "Would ye mind a ducking? Blood of wound or
dust of travel - that's a man's adornment."
"Nay, then, I like him better plain," observed the lad. "But,