|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from From London to Land's End by Daniel Defoe:
This Lord Stourton being guilty of the said murder, which also was
aggravated with very bad circumstances, could not obtain the usual
grace of the Crown (viz., to be beheaded), but Queen Mary
positively ordered that, like a common malefactor, he should die at
the gallows. After he was hanged, his friends desiring to have him
buried at Salisbury, the bishop would not consent that he should be
buried in the cathedral unless, as a farther mark of infamy, his
friends would submit to this condition--viz., that the silken
halter in which he was hanged should be hanged up over his grave in
the church as a monument of his crime; which was accordingly done,
and there it is to be seen to this day.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cratylus by Plato:
the simple truth is, that he who knows names knows also the things which
are expressed by them.
SOCRATES: I suppose you mean to say, Cratylus, that as the name is, so
also is the thing; and that he who knows the one will also know the other,
because they are similars, and all similars fall under the same art or
science; and therefore you would say that he who knows names will also know
CRATYLUS: That is precisely what I mean.
SOCRATES: But let us consider what is the nature of this information about
things which, according to you, is given us by names. Is it the best sort
of information? or is there any other? What do you say?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lady Susan by Jane Austen:
everything has gone wrong, but it is now all happily settled. Lady Susan, I
believe, wishes to speak to you about it, if you are at leisure."
"Certainly," I replied, deeply sighing at the recital of so lame a story. I
made no comments, however, for words would have been vain.
Reginald was glad to get away, and I went to Lady Susan, curious,
indeed, to hear her account of it. "Did I not tell you," said she with a
smile, "that your brother would not leave us after all?" "You did, indeed,"
replied I very gravely; "but I flattered myself you would be mistaken." "I
should not have hazarded such an opinion," returned she, "if it had not at
that moment occurred to me that his resolution of going might be
occasioned by a conversation in which we had been this morning engaged, and
|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 Soul of a Bishop by H. G. Wells:
silences. While supper was being cleared away he went back into
Thence he returned to the dining-room hearthrug as his family
resumed their various occupations.
He tried to speak in a casual conversational tone.
"I want to tell you all," he said, "of something that has
He waited. Phoebe had begun to figure at a fresh sheet of
computations. Miriam bent her head closer over her work, as
though she winced at what was coming. Daphne and Clementina
looked at one another. Their eyes said "Eleanor!" But he was too