|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
The words had been spoken by their friend Alida Stair, as they
sat at tea on her lawn at Pangbourne, in reference to the very
house of which the library in question was the central, the
pivotal "feature." Mary Boyne and her husband, in quest of a
country place in one of the southern or southwestern counties,
had, on their arrival in England, carried their problem straight
to Alida Stair, who had successfully solved it in her own case;
but it was not until they had rejected, almost capriciously,
several practical and judicious suggestions that she threw it
out: "Well, there's Lyng, in Dorsetshire. It belongs to Hugo's
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
have been nothing to alter in their proportions.
"Do you know," said the little friar, as they wound along the banks
of the stream, "the reason why lake-trout is better than river-trout,
and shyer withal?"
"I was not aware of the fact," said Sir Ralph.
"A most heterodox remark," said brother Michael: "know you not,
that in all nice matters you should take the implication for absolute,
and, without looking into the FACT WHETHER, seek only the reason why?
But the fact is so, on the word of a friar; which what layman will venture
to gainsay who prefers a down bed to a gridiron?"
"The fact being so," said the knight, "I am still at a loss for the reason;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, etc. by Oscar Wilde:
and the moon hid her face in a cloud as he stole past the great
oriel window, where his own arms and those of his murdered wife
were blazoned in azure and gold. On and on he glided, like an evil
shadow, the very darkness seeming to loathe him as he passed. Once
he thought he heard something call, and stopped; but it was only
the baying of a dog from the Red Farm, and he went on, muttering
strange sixteenth-century curses, and ever and anon brandishing the
rusty dagger in the midnight air. Finally he reached the corner of
the passage that led to luckless Washington's room. For a moment
he paused there, the wind blowing his long grey locks about his
head, and twisting into grotesque and fantastic folds the nameless
|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 Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War by Frederick A. Talbot:
burst to the left of the aerostat, as revealed by the relation of
the position of the balloon to the bursting of the shell shown in
A third round is fired, and the shell explodes at F. In this
instance the explosion takes place below the balloon. Both the
observers and the artillery man concur in their deductions upon
the point at which the shell burst. But the shell must explode
above the balloon, and accordingly a fourth round is discharged
and the shell bursts at G.
This appears to be above the balloon, inasmuch as the lines of
sight of the two observers and B converge at this point. But