|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
for hours the little Spirit lay watching the sea and sky, while
singing gayly to herself.
But when tempests rose, she hastened down below the stormy billows,
to where all was calm and still, and with her sister Spirits waited
till it should be fair again, listening sadly, meanwhile, to the cries
of those whom the wild waves wrecked and cast into the angry sea,
and who soon came floating down, pale and cold, to the Spirits'
pleasant home; then they wept pitying tears above the lifeless forms,
and laid them in quiet graves, where flowers bloomed, and jewels
sparkled in the sand.
This was Ripple's only grief, and she often thought of those who
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Book of Remarkable Criminals by H. B. Irving:
This girl of twenty had developed into a supreme instance of the
"unmoral" woman, the conscienceless egoist, morally colour-blind,
vain, lewd, the intelligence quick and alert but having no
influence whatever on conduct. One instance will suffice to show
the sinister levity, the utter absence of all moral sense in this
After the murder of Gouffe, Gabrielle spent the night alone
with the trunk containing the bailiff's corpse. Asked by M.
Goron what were her sensations during this ghastly vigil,
she replied with a smile, "You'd never guess what a funny
idea come into my head! You see it was not very pleasant
A Book of Remarkable Criminals
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Off on a Comet by Jules Verne:
but I feel confident that by careful observation at various
points we shall arrive at conclusions which not only will
determine our path, but perhaps may clear up the mystery about
our geological structure."
"Allow me to ask," said Count Timascheff, "whether such a new asteroid would
not be subject to ordinary mechanical laws, and whether, once started,
it would not have an orbit that must be immutable?"
"Decidedly it would, so long as it was undisturbed by the attraction
of some considerable body; but we must recollect that, compared to
the great planets, Gallia must be almost infinitesimally small,
and so might be attracted by a force that is irresistible."
|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 Rivers to the Sea by Sara Teasdale:
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love--put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.
(For a picture by Dugald Walker)
LADY, light in the east hangs low,
Draw your veils of dream apart,