|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:
Margret. How those men had carped, and criticised her, chattered
of the duties of her soul! Why, it was his, it was his own,
softer and fresher. There was not a glance with which they
followed the weak little body in its poor dress that he had not
seen, and savagely resented. They measured her strength? counted
how long the bones and blood would last in their House of Refuge?
There was not a morsel of her flesh that was not pure and holy in
his eyes. His Margret? He chafed with an intolerable fever to
make her his, but for one instant, as she had been once. Now,
when it was too late. For he went back over every word he had
spoken that night, forcing himself to go through with it,--every
Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:
You may assume your most impressive aspect--you may write down your
instructions as if you were making your last will and testament--
you may swear you will not pay if your books are ploughed--'tis all in vain--
the creed of a binder is very short, and comprised in a single article,
and that article is the one vile word "Shavings." But not now will I
follow this depressing subject; binders, as enemies of books, deserve,
and shall have, a whole chapter to themselves.
It is much easier to decry gas than to find a remedy.
Sun lights require especial arrangements, and are very expensive
on account of the quantity of gas consumed. The library
illumination of the future promises to be the electric light.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard:
"The mouth is a little member, even of the body of a great king, O
Chief Bulalio, ruler of the People of the Axe, wizard of the wolves
that are upon the Ghost Mountain, who aforetime was named Umslopogaas,
son of Mopo, son of Makedama."
Now when Umslopogaas heard these words he started like a child at a
rustling in the dark and stared hard at me.
"You are well instructed," he said.
"The ears of the king are large, if his mouth be small, O Chief
Bulalio," I answered, "and I, who am but the mouth, speak what the
ears have heard."
"How know you that I have dwelt with the wolves upon the Ghost
Nada the Lily
|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 Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
The hunters then rose, and using their sticks like scythes, they mowed
down whole rows of these couroucous, who never thought of flying away, and
stupidly allowed themselves to be knocked off. A hundred were already
heaped on the ground, before the others made up their minds to fly.
"Well," said Pencroft, "here is game, which is quite within the reach of
hunters like us. We have only to put out our hands and take it!"
The sailor having strung the couroucous like larks on flexible twigs,
they then continued their exploration. The stream here made a bend towards
the south, but this detour was probably not prolonged for the river must
have its source in the mountain, and be supplied by the melting of the snow
The Mysterious Island