|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:
in much he would, somewhat impatiently, acquiesce. It may be true;
but it is not what he desired to say or to hear said. He spoke of
the finished picture and its worth when done; I, of the brushes,
the palette, and the north light. He uttered his views in the tone
and for the ear of good society; I, with the emphasis and
technicalities of the obtrusive student. But the point, I may
reply, is not merely to amuse the public, but to offer helpful
advice to the young writer. And the young writer will not so much
be helped by genial pictures of what an art may aspire to at its
highest, as by a true idea of what it must be on the lowest terms.
The best that we can say to him is this: Let him choose a motive,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen:
undesigned and unmerited, led him into the way of happiness.
Could he have been satisfied with the conquest of one
amiable woman's affections, could he have found sufficient
exultation in overcoming the reluctance, in working himself
into the esteem and tenderness of Fanny Price, there would
have been every probability of success and felicity for him.
His affection had already done something. Her influence
over him had already given him some influence over her.
Would he have deserved more, there can be no doubt
that more would have been obtained, especially when
that marriage had taken place, which would have given
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift:
signs and words made me understand the concern he was in that I
had nothing to eat. Oats in their tongue are called HLUNNH.
This word I pronounced two or three times; for although I had
refused them at first, yet, upon second thoughts, I considered
that I could contrive to make of them a kind of bread, which
might be sufficient, with milk, to keep me alive, till I could
make my escape to some other country, and to creatures of my own
species. The horse immediately ordered a white mare servant of
his family to bring me a good quantity of oats in a sort of
wooden tray. These I heated before the fire, as well as I could,
and rubbed them till the husks came off, which I made a shift to
|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 In the Cage by Henry James:
determined, among the hams and cheeses and the lodgers from
Thrupp's, immediate and alarming reprisals, a scene of scandal and
consternation. Mr. Buckton and the counter-clerk had crouched
within the cage, but Mr. Mudge had, with a very quiet but very
quick step round the counter, an air of masterful authority she
shouldn't soon forget, triumphantly interposed in the scrimmage,
parted the combatants and shaken the delinquent in his skin. She
had been proud of him at that moment, and had felt that if their
affair had not already been settled the neatness of his execution
would have left her without resistance.
Their affair had been settled by other things: by the evident