|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:
Then fell from the high heaven one bright star,
One dancer left the circling galaxy,
And back to Athens on her clattering car
In all the pride of venged divinity
Pale Pallas swept with shrill and steely clank,
And a few gurgling bubbles rose where her boy lover sank.
And the mast shuddered as the gaunt owl flew
With mocking hoots after the wrathful Queen,
And the old pilot bade the trembling crew
Hoist the big sail, and told how he had seen
Close to the stern a dim and giant form,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Pool of Blood in the Pastor's Study by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
pillars. It was a subterranean repetition of the church above.
There had evidently been a convent attached to this church at one
time; for here stood a row of simple wooden coffins all exactly
alike, bearing each one upon its lid a roughly painted cross
surrounded by a wreath. Thus were buried the monks of days long past.
Muller walked slowly through the rows of coffins looking eagerly to
each side. Suddenly he stopped and stood still. His hand did not
tremble but his thin face was pale - pale as that face which looked
up at him out of one of the coffins. The lid of the coffin stood
up against the wall and Muller saw that there were several other
empty ones further on, waiting for their silent occupants.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
the good wine of Suresne. They went along, disputing about a thousand
theological subjects which got very much mixed up, and finished by
rolling quietly up against the garden where were the crowns of the
Lombard. Then Cochegrue, making a ladder of Chiquon's broad shoulders,
jumped on to the pear-tree like a man expert in attacks upon towns,
but Versoris, who was watching him, made a blow at his neck, and
repeated it so vigorously that with three blows fell the upper portion
of the said Cochegrue, but not until he had heard the clear voice of
the shepherd, who cried to him, "Pick up your head, my friend."
Thereupon the generous Chiquon, in whom virtue received its
recompense, thought it would be wise to return to the house of the
Droll Stories, V. 1
|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 Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
"By canary," said brother Michael. "Canary is the only life preserver,
the true aurum potabile, the universal panacea for all diseases, thirst,
and short life. Your life was saved by canary."
"Indeed, reverend father," said Sir Ralph, "if the young
lady be half what you describe, she must be a paragon:
but your commending her for valour does somewhat amaze me."
"She can fence," said the little friar, "and draw the long bow,
and play at singlestick and quarter-staff."
"Yet mark you," said brother Michael, "not like a virago or a hoyden,
or one that would crack a serving-man's head for spilling gravy on her ruff,
but with such womanly grace and temperate self-command as if those manly