|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Flame and Shadow by Sara Teasdale:
Where the window-lights, myriads and myriads,
Bloom from the walls like climbing flowers.
"She can't be unhappy," you said,
"The smiles are like stars in her eyes,
And her laugh is thistledown
Around her low replies."
"Is she unhappy?" you said --
But who has ever known
Another's heartbreak --
All he can know is his own;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
English language is quite capable of supplying. He must be patient and
self-controlled; he must not be easily run away with. Let him never allow
the attraction of a favourite expression, or a sonorous cadence, to
overpower his better judgment, or think much of an ornament which is out of
keeping with the general character of his work. He must ever be casting
his eyes upwards from the copy to the original, and down again from the
original to the copy (Rep.). His calling is not held in much honour by the
world of scholars; yet he himself may be excused for thinking it a kind of
glory to have lived so many years in the companionship of one of the
greatest of human intelligences, and in some degree, more perhaps than
others, to have had the privilege of understanding him (Sir Joshua
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy:
chain and plate armour, deeply scarred cheeks, tender maidens
disguised as pages, to which we had not listened long ago." Now,
that's a very good beginning, in my opinion, and one to be proud
of having brought out of a man who has never seen you.'
'Ah, yes,' murmured Elfride wofully. 'But, then, see further on!'
'Well the next bit is rather unkind, I must own,' said Mrs.
Swancourt, and read on. '"Instead of this we found ourselves in
the hands of some young lady, hardly arrived at years of
discretion, to judge by the silly device it has been thought worth
while to adopt on the title-page, with the idea of disguising her
A Pair of Blue Eyes
|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 Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
"You, too, read the voiceless message in the air?" demanded the
E-Thas was palpably uneasy and he did not reply.
"Why did you not come to me with your apprehensions?" demanded
O-Tar. "Be this loyalty?"
"I feared, O mighty jeddak!" replied E-Thas. "I feared that you
would not understand and that you would be angry."
"What know you? Speak the whole truth!" commanded O-Tar.
"There is much unrest among the chieftains and the warriors,"
replied E-Thas. "Even those who were your friends fear the power
of those who speak against you."
The Chessmen of Mars