|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles:
Where's the bold wooers who will jeopardize
To take unto himself such disrepute
As to my children's children still must cling,
For what of infamy is lacking here?
"Their father slew his father, sowed the seed
Where he himself was gendered, and begat
These maidens at the source wherefrom he sprang."
Such are the gibes that men will cast at you.
Who then will wed you? None, I ween, but ye
Must pine, poor maids, in single barrenness.
O Prince, Menoeceus' son, to thee, I turn,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
to recognize and desire the recognition of others.
"You are much changed," said the ex-farmer, now twice a millionaire.
"All things change," said Georges. "Look at the Lion d'Argent and
Pierrotin's coach; they are not a bit like what they were fourteen
"Pierrotin now controls the whole service of the Valley of the Oise,"
replied Monsieur Leger, "and sends out five coaches. He is the
bourgeois of Beaumont, where he keeps a hotel, at which all the
diligences stop, and he has a wife and daughter who are not a bad help
An old man of seventy here came out of the hotel and joined the group
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
had seen the world, and was capable of more civil speech than you
could well attend to. He wore a greatcoat in midsummer, being
affected with the trembling delirium, and his face was the color of
carmine. He died in the road at the foot of Brister's Hill shortly
after I came to the woods, so that I have not remembered him as a
neighbor. Before his house was pulled down, when his comrades
avoided it as "an unlucky castle," I visited it. There lay his old
clothes curled up by use, as if they were himself, upon his raised
plank bed. His pipe lay broken on the hearth, instead of a bowl
broken at the fountain. The last could never have been the symbol
of his death, for he confessed to me that, though he had heard of
|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 Middlemarch by George Eliot:
the wainscoted parlor, where Raffles was, and said--
"I have called you in, Mr. Lydgate, to an unfortunate man who was once
in my employment, many years ago. Afterwards he went to America,
and returned I fear to an idle dissolute life. Being destitute,
he has a claim on me. He was slightly connected with Rigg,
the former owner of this place, and in consequence found his way here.
I believe he is seriously ill: apparently his mind is affected.
I feel bound to do the utmost for him."
Lydgate, who had the remembrance of his last conversation with
Bulstrode strongly upon him, was not disposed to say an unnecessary
word to him, and bowed slightly in answer to this account;