|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Extracts From Adam's Diary by Mark Twain:
have been of that sort, though I had honestly supposed that they
were new when I made them. She asked me if I had made one just
at the time of the catastrophe. I was obliged to admit that I had
made one to myself, though not aloud. It was this. I was thinking
about the Falls, and I said to myself, "How wonderful it is to see
that vast body of water tumble down there!" Then in an instant a
bright thought flashed into my head, and I let it fly, saying, "It
would be a deal more wonderful to see it tumble up there!"--and I
was just about to kill myself with laughing at it when all nature
broke loose in war and death, and I had to flee for my life.
"There," she said, with triumph, "that is just it; the Serpent
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
The quiet lady came slowly down from the portrait,
And stood, while worlds went by,
And lifted her young white hands and took the wine cup;
And the poet trembled, and said,
'Lo-san, will you stay forever?'--'Yes, I will stay.'--
'But what when I am dead?'
'When you are dead your spirit will find my spirit,
And then we shall die no more.'
Music came down upon them, and spring returning,
They remembered worlds before,
And years went over the earth, and over the sea,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Faraday as a Discoverer by John Tyndall:
him on, but they did not hamper him. His theoretic notions were
fluent; and when minds less plastic than his own attempted to render
those fluxional images rigid, he rebelled. He warns Phillips
moreover, that from first to last, 'he merely threw out as matter
for speculation the vague impressions of his mind; for he gave
nothing as the result of sufficient consideration, or as the settled
conviction, or even probable conclusion at which he had arrived.'
The gist of this communication is that gravitating force acts in
lines across space, and that the vibrations of light and radiant
heat consist in the tremors of these lines of force. 'This notion,'
he says, 'as far as it is admitted, will dispense with the ether,
|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 Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
beauty had become more communicable: it was as though she had
learned the conscious exercise of intuitive attributes and now
used her effects with the discrimination of an artist skilled in
values. To a dispassionate critic (as Glennard now rated himself)
the art may at times have been a little too obvious. Her attempts
at lightness lacked spontaneity, and she sometimes rasped him by
laughing like Julia Armiger; but he had enough imagination to
perceive that, in respect of the wife's social arts, a husband
necessarily sees the wrong side of the tapestry.
In this ironical estimate of their relation Glennard found himself
strangely relieved of all concern as to his wife's feelings for