|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ancient Regime by Charles Kingsley:
developments, of astonishing discoveries.
Are you so sure of that? There was an age of progress once. But
what is our age--what is all which has befallen since 1815--save
after-swells of that great storm, which are weakening and lulling
into heavy calm? Are we on the eve of stagnation? Of a long check
to the human intellect? Of a new Byzantine era, in which little men
will discuss, and ape, the deeds which great men did in their
What progress--it is a question which some will receive with almost
angry surprise--what progress has the human mind made since 1815?
If the thought be startling, do me the great honour of taking it
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Soul of a Bishop by H. G. Wells:
liberal opinions on what are called social questions on the part
of Miss Sharsper, the novelist, and decided that if that lady was
watched nothing so terrible could be said even in an undertone;
and as for the Mariposa, the dancer, she had nothing but Spanish
and bad French, she looked all right, and it wasn't very likely
she would go out of her way to startle an Anglican bishop. Simply
she needn't dance. Besides which even if a man does get a glimpse
of a little something--it isn't as if it was a woman.
But of course if the party mustn't annoy the bishop, the bishop
must do his duty by the party. There must be the usual purple and
the silver buckles.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
and to the principles of freebootery, diversely developed, belong all
the qualities to which song and story concede renown."
"And you may add, friar," said Marian, "that Robin, no less than Richard,
is king in his own dominion; and that if his subjects be fewer, yet are they
more uniformly loyal."
"I would, fair lady," said the stranger, "that thy latter observation were not
so true. But I nothing doubt, Robin, that if Richard could hear your friar,
and see you and your lady, as I now do, there is not a man in England whom
he would take by the hand more cordially than yourself."
"Gramercy, sir knight," said Robin---- But his speech was cut
short by Little John calling, "Hark!"
|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 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:
such a sum for doing anything so simple as copying out the
Encyclopaedia Britannica. Vincent Spaulding did what he could to
cheer me up, but by bedtime I had reasoned myself out of the
whole thing. However, in the morning I determined to have a look
at it anyhow, so I bought a penny bottle of ink, and with a
quill-pen, and seven sheets of foolscap paper, I started off for
"Well, to my surprise and delight, everything was as right as
possible. The table was set out ready for me, and Mr. Duncan Ross
was there to see that I got fairly to work. He started me off
upon the letter A, and then he left me; but he would drop in from
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes