|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
Robin found the bishop and his train in the church porch,
impatiently expecting the arrival of the bride and bridegroom.
The clerk was observing to the bishop that the knight was somewhat gouty,
and that the necessity of walking the last quarter of a mile from
the road to the churchyard probably detained the lively bridegroom
rather longer than had been calculated upon.
"Oh! by my fey," said the music-loving bishop, "here comes a harper
in the nick of time, and now I care not how long they tarry.
Ho! honest friend, are you come to play at the wedding?"
"I am come to play anywhere," answered Robin, "where I can get a cup of sack;
for which I will sing the praise of the donor in lofty verse, and emblazon
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:
himself than her. 'We are a fallen house. Money, dispensed with
the most lavish hand, would be a poor recompense for sufferings
like yours; and thinly scattered by hands so pinched and tied as
ours, it becomes a miserable mockery. I feel it so, God knows,' he
added, hastily. 'Why should I wonder if she does!'
'You do me wrong, dear sir, indeed,' she rejoined with great
earnestness; 'and yet when you come to hear what I desire your
leave to say--'
'I shall find my doubts confirmed?' he said, observing that she
faltered and became confused. 'Well!'
He quickened his pace for a few steps, but fell back again to her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:
you in all your glory his look betrays the slightest hesitation,--and
I shall watch him,--on that instant I shall break off the marriage; I
will liquidate my property, leave Bordeaux, and go to Douai, to be
near the Claes. Madame Claes is our relation through the Temnincks.
Then I'll marry you to a peer of France, and take refuge in a convent
myself, that I may give up to you my whole fortune."
"Mother, what am I to do to prevent such misfortunes?" cried Natalie.
"I have never seen you so beautiful as you are now," replied her
mother. "Be a little coquettish, and all is well."
Madame Evangelista left Natalie to her thoughts, and went to arrange
her own toilet in such a way that would bear comparison with that of
|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 Parmenides by Plato:
affirmation of the one. My answer is addressed to the partisans of the
many, whose attack I return with interest by retorting upon them that their
hypothesis of the being of many, if carried out, appears to be still more
ridiculous than the hypothesis of the being of one. Zeal for my master led
me to write the book in the days of my youth, but some one stole the copy;
and therefore I had no choice whether it should be published or not; the
motive, however, of writing, was not the ambition of an elder man, but the
pugnacity of a young one. This you do not seem to see, Socrates; though in
other respects, as I was saying, your notion is a very just one.
I understand, said Socrates, and quite accept your account. But tell me,
Zeno, do you not further think that there is an idea of likeness in itself,