|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:
Our souls up more than even Agnolo's
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o'er the scroll of human woes,
Or Titian's little maiden on the stair
White as her own sweet lily and as tall,
Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair, -
Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see
The God that is within us! The old Greek serenity
Which curbs the passion of that level line
Of marble youths, who with untroubled eyes
And chastened limbs ride round Athena's shrine
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:
had nothing terrible in it; I thought, therefore, that if in the absence
of his children I could gain the good will and mediation of the old De Lacey,
I might by his means be tolerated by my younger protectors.
"One day, when the sun shone on the red leaves that strewed the
ground and diffused cheerfulness, although it denied warmth, Safie,
Agatha, and Felix departed on a long country walk, and the old man,
at his own desire, was left alone in the cottage. When his children
had departed, he took up his guitar and played several mournful
but sweet airs, more sweet and mournful than I had ever heard him
play before. At first his countenance was illuminated with pleasure,
but as he continued, thoughtfulness and sadness succeeded; at length,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
de Maufrigneuse culminated in the sale of that splendid property.
Madame Piedefer came to live with her daughter. The combined fortunes
of Monsieur de la Baudraye and his mother-in-law, who had been content
to accept an annuity of twelve hundred francs on the lands of La
Hautoy which she handed over to him, amounted to an acknowledged
income of about fifteen thousand francs.
During the early days of her married life, Dinah had effected some
alterations which had made the house at La Baudraye a very pleasant
residence. She turned a spacious forecourt into a formal garden,
pulling down wine-stores, presses, and shabby outhouses. Behind the
manor-house, which, though small, did not lack style with its turrets
The Muse of the Department
|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 A Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest:
That boys can't always do what's right -- it
seemed he understood.
Now there's that little chap of mine, just full of
life and fun,
Comes up to me with solemn face to tell the
bad he's done.
It's natural for any boy to be a roguish elf,
He hasn't time to stop and think and figure for
And though the womenfolks insist that I should
A Heap O' Livin'