|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson:
larger part. If you have it done here, tell your artist to look at
the hall of Craigievar in Billing's BARONIAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL
ANTIQUITIES, and he will get a broad hint for the hall at
Durrisdeer: it is, I think, the chimney of Craigievar and the roof
of Pinkie, and perhaps a little more of Pinkie altogether; but I
should have to see the book myself to be sure. Hole would be
invaluable for this. I dare say if you had it illustrated, you
could let me have one or two for the English edition.
R. L. S.
Letter: TO WILLIAM ARCHER
[SARANAC, WINTER 1887-8.]
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Verses 1889-1896 by Rudyard Kipling:
From reef and rock and skerry -- over headland, ness, and voe --
The Coastwise Lights of England watch the ships of England go!
Through the endless summer evenings, on the lineless, level floors;
Through the yelling Channel tempest when the siren hoots and roars --
By day the dipping house-flag and by night the rocket's trail --
As the sheep that graze behind us so we know them where they hail.
We bridge across the dark and bid the helmsman have a care,
The flash that wheeling inland wakes his sleeping wife to prayer;
From our vexed eyries, head to gale, we bind in burning chains
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
"Neither the one nor the other," replied Coupiau. "I'm a postilion,
and, what is more, a Breton,--consequently, I fear neither Blues nor
"Noble thieves!" cried the patriot, ironically.
"They only take back what was stolen from them," said the rector,
The two men looked at each other in the whites of their eyes, if we
may use a phrase so colloquial. Sitting back in the vehicle was a
third traveller who took no part in the discussion, and preserved a
deep silence. The driver and the patriot and even Gudin paid no
|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 Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
"O-jochu! -- O-jochu! -- O-jochu!... Listen to me, just for one little
moment!... O-jochu! -- O-jochu!"... Then that O-jochu turned around, and
dropped her sleeve, and stroked her face with her hand; -- and the man saw
that she had no eyes or nose or mouth,-- and he screamed and ran away. (2)
Up Kii-no-kuni-zaka he ran and ran; and all was black and empty before
him. On and on he ran, never daring to look back; and at last he saw a
lantern, so far away that it looked like the gleam of a firefly; and he
made for it. It proved to be only the lantern of an itinerant soba-seller,
 who had set down his stand by the road-side; but any light and any
human companionship was good after that experience; and he flung himself
down at the feet of the soba-seller, crying out, "Ah! -- aa!! -- aa!!!"...