|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
gave to every word--and as oft as he took his pipe from his mouth, with
what wonderful seriousness he contemplated the length of it--surveying it
transversely as he held it betwixt his finger and his thumb--then fore-
right--then this way, and then that, in all its possible directions and
fore-shortenings--he would have concluded my uncle Toby had got hold of the
medius terminus, and was syllogizing and measuring with it the truth of
each hypothesis of long noses, in order, as my father laid them before him.
This, by-the-bye, was more than my father wanted--his aim in all the pains
he was at in these philosophick lectures--was to enable my uncle Toby not
to discuss--but comprehend--to hold the grains and scruples of learning--
not to weigh them.--My uncle Toby, as you will read in the next chapter,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Market-Place by Harold Frederic:
of a lover had enveloped him, he had a distinct delight
in watching the myriad charming phases of her kind manner,
half-sisterly, half-motherly, toward the grave-faced
young man. It was all a part of the delicious change
which these past few days had wrought in her, this warm
and supple softness of mien, of eye and smile and voice.
But how the Duke, if really he had had a chance to marry Edith,
could have taken the type-writer instead, baffled speculation.
Thorpe gave more attention to this problem, during dinner,
than he did to the conversation of the table.
His exchange of sporadic remarks with the young Duchess
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:
various manifestations which arise also. But these I keep to
myself. They concern the wonder of woman's heart, which is a
microcosm of the hopes and fears and desires and despairs of this
humanity of ours whereof from age to age she is the mother.
By J. R. Bickley, M.R.C.S.
WITHIN about six months of the date on which he wrote the last
words of this history of our joint adventures, my dear friend,
Humphrey Arbuthnot, died suddenly, as I had foreseen that
probably he would do, from the results of the injury he received
When the World Shook
|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 Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:
crowd at the same moment with one of the bravest colonels of the
Guards' Artillery and the Emperor's favorite, the Comte de Soulanges.
The transient and fortuitous association of these two had about it a
certain air of mystery. On hearing the names announced of Monsieur de
Soulanges and the Comtesse de Vaudremont, a few women sitting by the
wall rose, and men, hurrying in from the side-rooms, pressed forward
to the principal doorway. One of the jesters who are always to be
found in any large assembly said, as the Countess and her escort came
in, that "women had quite as much curiosity about seeing a man who was
faithful to his passion as men had in studying a woman who was
difficult to enthrall."