|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
In short, I have said enough to make you guess that it was
Quicksilver; and Ulysses (who knew him of old, and had learned
a great deal of his wisdom from him) recognized him in a
"Whither are you going in such a hurry, wise Ulysses?" asked
Quicksilver. "Do you not know that this island is enchanted?
The wicked enchantress (whose name is Circe, the sister of King
Aetes) dwells in the marble palace which you see yonder among
the trees. By her magic arts she changes every human being into
the brute, beast, or fowl whom he happens most to resemble."
"That little bird, which met me at the edge of the cliff,"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Talisman by Walter Scott:
Edith's grief, and appease her displeasure, by a thousand
inconsistent arguments. She was sure no harm had chanced--the
knight was sleeping, she fancied, after his night-watch. What
though, for fear of the King's displeasure, he had deserted with
the Standard--it was but a piece of silk, and he but a needy
adventurer; or if he was put under warding for a time, she would
soon get the King to pardon him--it was but waiting to let
Richard's mood pass away.
Thus she continued talking thick and fast, and heaping together
all sorts of inconsistencies, with the vain expectation of
persuading both Edith and herself that no harm could come of a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker:
up the steps lightly and swiftly. For an instant all was dark, but
there came again the faint green light which enabled him to see the
outlines of things. Another iron door, narrow like the first and
fairly high, led into another large room, the walls of which were of
massive stones, so closely joined together as to exhibit only one
smooth surface. This presented the appearance of having at one time
been polished. On the far side, also smooth like the walls, was the
reverse of a wide, but not high, iron door. Here there was a little
more light, for the high-up aperture over the door opened to the
Lady Arabella took from her girdle another small key, which she
Lair of the White Worm
|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 Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
Marie d'Annebaut, whom Lavalliere swore to be intact in that precious
place where the honour of husbands is lodged; at which the amorous
Maille was highly delighted.
On the morrow, they were all three re-united, to the great disgust of
Marie, who, with the high jurisprudence of women, made a great fuss
with her good husband, but with her finger she indicated her heart in
an artless manner to Lavalliere, as one who said, "This is thine!"
At supper Lavalliere announced his departure for the wars. Maille was
much grieved at this resolution, and wished to accompany his brother;
that Lavalliere refused him point blank.
"Madame," said he to Marie d'Annebaut, "I love you more than life, but
Droll Stories, V. 1