|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:
and the Chancellor gave a little gasp of relieved anxiety.
"Morning!" said the little fellow, addressing the remark, in a general
sort of way, to the Chancellor and the waiters. "Doos oo know where
Sylvie is? I's looking for Sylvie!"
"She's with the Warden, I believe, y'reince!" the Chancellor replied
with a low bow. There was, no doubt, a certain amount of absurdity in
applying this title (which, as of course you see without my telling
you, was nothing but 'your Royal Highness' condensed into one syllable)
to a small creature whose father was merely the Warden of Outland:
still, large excuse must be made for a man who had passed several years
at the Court of Fairyland, and had there acquired the almost impossible
Sylvie and Bruno
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln:
for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . .
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead,
who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power
to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember,
what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining
before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
conducted to the presence of the Revolutionary Tribunal, which held
its sittings in the place where the Court of Appeals now performs its
solemn functions, up a horrible flight of steps, now never used, in
the very thickness of the wall on which the Galerie Marchande is
One side of the prison-yard--that on which the Hall of Saint-Louis
forms the first floor--displays a long row of Gothic columns, between
which the architects of I know not what period have built up two
floors of cells to accommodate as many prisoners as possible, by
choking the capitals, the arches, and the vaults of this magnificent
cloister with plaster, barred loopholes, and partitions. Under the
|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 Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
you knew just where to find her like a plain flower. 'Lijah's
worthy enough; I do esteem 'Lijah, but he's a ploddin' man."
The Backward View
AT LAST IT WAS the time of late summer, when the house was cool and
damp in the morning, and all the light seemed to come through green
leaves; but at the first step out of doors the sunshine always laid
a warm hand on my shoulder, and the clear, high sky seemed to lift
quickly as I looked at it. There was no autumnal mist on the
coast, nor any August fog; instead of these, the sea, the sky, all
the long shore line and the inland hills, with every bush of bay