|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle:
and have brought back the money that thou didst lend me, and which I
have doubled four times over again, and so become rich once more.
Along with this money I have brought a little gift to thee and thy
brave men from my dear lady and myself." Then, turning to his men,
he called aloud, "Bring forth the pack horses."
But Robin stopped him. "Nay, Sir Richard," said he, "think it not bold
of me to cross thy bidding, but we of Sherwood do no business till after
we have eaten and drunk." Whereupon, taking Sir Richard by the hand,
he led him to the seat beneath the greenwood tree, while others
of the chief men of the band came and seated themselves around.
Then quoth Robin, "How cometh it that I saw young David of Doncaster
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
of a mile away. Here we find neither priest nor idol--nothing but
a small board tablet to "Confucius, the teacher of ten thousand
ages" with those of his most faithful and worthy disciples. In
the court on each side are rows of buildings--that on the east
containing the tablets of seventy-eight virtuous men; that on the
west the tablets of fifty-four learned men; eighty-six of these
were pupils of the Sage, while the remainder were men who
accepted his teachings. No Taoists, however learned; no
Buddhists, however pure; no original thinkers, however great may
have been their following, are allowed a place here. It is a
Temple of Fame for Confucianists alone.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde:
off, and filled his nostrils and his ears with wax, and tied a big
stone round his waist. He crept wearily down the ladder, and
disappeared into the sea. A few bubbles rose where he sank. Some
of the other slaves peered curiously over the side. At the prow of
the galley sat a shark-charmer, beating monotonously upon a drum.
After some time the diver rose up out of the water, and clung
panting to the ladder with a pearl in his right hand. The negroes
seized it from him, and thrust him back. The slaves fell asleep
over their oars.
Again and again he came up, and each time that he did so he brought
with him a beautiful pearl. The master of the galley weighed them,
|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 Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde:
"Shall I love you?" said the Swallow, who liked to come to the
point at once, and the Reed made him a low bow. So he flew round
and round her, touching the water with his wings, and making silver
ripples. This was his courtship, and it lasted all through the
"It is a ridiculous attachment," twittered the other Swallows; "she
has no money, and far too many relations"; and indeed the river was
quite full of Reeds. Then, when the autumn came they all flew
After they had gone he felt lonely, and began to tire of his lady-
love. "She has no conversation," he said, "and I am afraid that