|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
You, at whose step the laziest slaves awake,
And both the bailiff and the butler quake;
The barber's suds now blacken with my beard,
And my rough kisses make the maids afeared;
But with reproach your awful eyebrows twitch,
And for the cane, I see, your fingers itch.
If something daintily attired I go,
Straight you exclaim: "Your father did not so."
And fuming, count the bottles on the board
As though my cellar were your private hoard.
Enough, at last: I have done all I can,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Talisman by Walter Scott:
retain the independence which we now hold. No, by Our Lady! In
such case, the proud Knights of Saint John must again spread
plasters and dress plague sores in the hospitals; and you, most
puissant and venerable Knights of the Temple, must return to your
condition of simple men-at-arms, sleep three on a pallet, and
mount two upon one horse, as your present seal still expresses to
have been your ancient most simple custom."
"The rank, privileges, and opulence of our Order prevent so much
degradation as you threaten," said the Templar haughtily.
"These are your bane," said Conrade of Montserrat; "and you, as
well as I, reverend Grand Master, know that, were the allied
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
She had parted from M. d'Espard with the greatest satisfaction. Had he
not taken with him two children who at present were troublesome, and
in the future would stand in the way of her pretensions? Her most
intimate friends, as much as her least persistent admirers, seeing
about her none of Cornelia's jewels, who come and go, and
unconsciously betray their mother's age, took her for quite a young
woman. The two boys, about whom she seemed so anxious in her petition,
were, like their father, as unknown in the world as the northwest
passage is unknown to navigators. M. d'Espard was supposed to be an
eccentric personage who had deserted his wife without having the
|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 Pool in the Desert by Sara Jeanette Duncan:
failed to suffer a quick fate under the guidance of his imagination.
But there was nothing for him to kill, and he turned upon himself.
The sun went down into the Punjab and left great blue-and-purple
hill worlds barring the passage behind him. The deodars sank waist
deep into filmy shadow, and the yellow afterlight lay silently among
the branches. A pink-haunched monkey lopading across the road with
a great show of prudence seemed to have strayed into an unfamiliar
country, and the rustling twigs behind him made an episode of sound.
The road in perpetual curve between its little stone parapet and the
broad flank of the hill rose and fell under the deodars; Innes took
its slopes and its steepnesses with even, unslackened stride, aware