|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
not help smiling to myself when I compared the visit to our last,
and reflecting that, if walls could speak, they would have strange
tales to tell.
What actresses women are! There, high upon her golden throne,
draped in her blazoned 'kaf' or robe of state, sat the fair Nyleptha,
and when Sir Henry came in a little late, dressed in the full
uniform of an officer of her guard and humbly bent himself before
her, she merely acknowledged his salute with a careless nod and
turned her head coldly aside. It was a very large Court, for
not only did the signing of the laws attract many outside of
those whose duty it was to attend, but also the rumour that Nasta
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
and bringing her glass to bear upon his studies, sketches, views and
portraits which were standing there on the floor. "It is charming.
Lise! Lise, come here. Rooms in the style of Teniers. Do you see?
Disorder, disorder, a table with a bust upon it, a hand, a palette;
dust, see how the dust is painted! It is charming. And here on this
canvas is a woman washing her face. What a pretty face! Ah! a little
muzhik! So you do not devote yourself exclusively to portraits?"
"Oh! that is mere rubbish. I was trying experiments, studies."
"Tell me your opinion of the portrait painters of the present day. Is
it not true that there are none now like Titian? There is not that
strength of colour, that--that-- What a pity that I cannot express
Taras Bulba and Other Tales
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift:
That gods, of whatso'er degree,
Resume not what themselves have given,
Or any brother-god in Heaven;
Which keeps the peace among the gods,
Or they must always be at odds.
And Pallas, if she broke the laws,
Must yield her foe the stronger cause;
A shame to one so much adored
For Wisdom, at Jove's council-board.
Besides, she feared the queen of love
Would meet with better friends above.
|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 Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson:
the infamous and scabby deserts of Champagne; but all is
green, solitary, covert. We visited two of them, Mr.
Schram's and Mr. M'Eckron's, sharing the same glen.
Some way down the valley below Calistoga, we turned sharply
to the south and plunged into the thick of the wood. A rude
trail rapidly mounting; a little stream tinkling by on the
one hand, big enough perhaps after the rains, but already
yielding up its life; overhead and on all sides a bower of
green and tangled thicket, still fragrant and still flower-
bespangled by the early season, where thimble-berry played
the part of our English hawthorn, and the buck-eyes were