|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:
"she seemed to me all but crazy with admiration for that Monsieur Hugo.
I'm sure I don't know where such people" (Victor Hugo, Lamartine,
Byron being SUCH PEOPLE to the Madame Latournelles of the bourgeoisie)
"get their ideas. Modeste kept talking to me of Childe Harold, and as
I did not wish to get the worst of the argument I was silly enough to
try to read the thing. Perhaps it was the fault of the translator, but
it actually turned my stomach; I was dazed; I couldn't possibly finish
it. Why, the man talks about comparisons that howl, rocks that faint,
and waves of war! However, he is only a travelling Englishman, and we
must expect absurdities,--though his are really inexcusable. He takes
you to Spain, and sets you in the clouds above the Alps, and makes the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Poems by Bronte Sisters:
Her mind was calm, its sunny rest
Shone in her eyes more clear than mirth.
And when attired in rich array,
Light, lustrous hair about her brow,
She yonder sat, a kind of day
Lit up what seems so gloomy now.
These grim oak walls even then were grim;
That old carved chair was then antique;
But what around looked dusk and dim
Served as a foil to her fresh cheek;
Her neck and arms, of hue so fair,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
steady plod, not quickening her gait even when we saw William come
round the corner of the house as if to look for us, and wave his
hand and disappear.
"Why, William's right on deck; I didn't know's we should see
any more of him!" exclaimed Mrs. Todd. "Now mother'll put the
kettle right on; she's got a good fire goin'." I too could see the
blue smoke thicken, and then we both walked a little faster, while
Mrs. Todd groped in her full bag of herbs to find the
daguerreotypes and be ready to put them in their places.
The Old Singers
|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 The Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde:
The very bravest men have voices sometimes
Full of low music; or a clarion was it
That brake with terror all his enemies?
Did he ride singly? or with many squires
And valiant gentlemen to serve his state?
For oftentimes methinks I feel my veins
Beat with the blood of kings. Was he a king?
Ay, of all men he was the kingliest.
[proudly] Then when you saw my noble father last