|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lady Susan by Jane Austen:
"Good God!" she exclaimed, "what an opinion you must have of me! Can you
possibly suppose that I was aware of her unhappiness! that it was my object
to make my own child miserable, and that I had forbidden her speaking to
you on the subject from a fear of your interrupting the diabolical scheme?
Do you think me destitute of every honest, every natural feeling? Am I
capable of consigning HER to everlasting: misery whose welfare it is my
first earthly duty to promote? The idea is horrible!" "What, then, was your
intention when you insisted on her silence?" "Of what use, my dear sister,
could be any application to you, however the affair might stand? Why should
I subject you to entreaties which I refused to attend to myself? Neither
for your sake nor for hers, nor for my own, could such a thing be
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
Magog, the demons of the North; but the other would exterminate the
Prince of Evil; and for centuries the coming of this Saviour of
mankind had been expected at any moment.
At this, the priests began to talk in low tones among themselves.
Eleazar addressed Jacob, saying that it had always been understood
that the Messiah would be a son of David, not of a carpenter; and that
he would confirm the law, whereas this Nazarene attacked it.
Furthermore, as a still stronger argument against the pretender, it
had been promised that the Messiah should be preceded by Elias.
"But Elias has come!" Jacob answered.
"Elias! Elias!" was repeated from one end of the banqueting-hall to
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
For I should melt at an offender's tears,
And lowly words were ransom for their fault.
Unless it were a bloody murtherer,
Or foul felonious thief that fleec'd poor passengers,
I never gave them condign punishment.
Murther indeed, that bloody sin, I tortur'd
Above the felon or what trespass else.
My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answer'd;
But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge,
Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
|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 La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:
quickly like an enclosing fence, and half hide the house. The wild
plants we call weeds have clothed the bank with their beautiful
luxuriance. The fruit-trees, neglected for these ten years past, no
longer bear a crop, and their suckers have formed a thicket. The
espaliers are like a copse. The paths, once graveled, are overgrown
with purslane; but, to be accurate there is no trace of a path.
"Looking down from the hilltop, to which cling the ruins of the old
castle of the Dukes of Vendome, the only spot whence the eye can see
into this enclosure, we think that at a time, difficult now to
determine, this spot of earth must have been the joy of some country
gentleman devoted to roses and tulips, in a word, to horticulture, but
La Grande Breteche