|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
genius of Sganarelle, Mascarille, and Scapin combined would not have
sufficed to invent three hundred and sixty-five pieces of mischief a
year. In the first place, circumstances were not always propitious:
sometimes the moon shone clear, or the last prank had greatly
irritated their betters; then one or another of their number refused
to share in some proposed outrage because a relation was involved. But
if the scamps were not at Mere Cognette's every night, they always met
during the day, enjoying together the legitimate pleasures of hunting,
or the autumn vintages and the winter skating. Among this assemblage
of twenty youths, all of them at war with the social somnolence of the
place, there are some who were more closely allied than others to Max,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates by Howard Pyle:
"She's hard aground!" answered the gunner. "We can't budge her
"If they was to fire into us now," said the sailing master,
"they'd smash us to pieces."
"They won't fire into us," said the lieutenant. "They won't dare
to." He jumped down from the cabin deckhouse as he spoke, and
went forward to urge the men in pushing off the boat. It was
already beginning to move.
At that moment the sailing master suddenly called out, "Mr.
Maynard! Mr. Maynard! they're going to give us a broadside!"
Almost before the words were out of his mouth, before Lieutenant
Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:
"The little smile said he had a big brother living in your
"Yes," she said softly.
"Yes. And that made me very brave, Princess. Otherwise I should
never have dared. Honestly, it was all the little smile's fault,
bless him. Isn't it glorious here?
"The bright eyes swept the horizon.
"Yes," she said slowly," it is. In fact, every prospect
"And only golf is vile."
"Byron never said that."
The Brother of Daphne
|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 Symposium by Plato:
inharmonious with the divine, and the beautiful harmonious. Beauty, then,
is the destiny or goddess of parturition who presides at birth, and
therefore, when approaching beauty, the conceiving power is propitious, and
diffusive, and benign, and begets and bears fruit: at the sight of
ugliness she frowns and contracts and has a sense of pain, and turns away,
and shrivels up, and not without a pang refrains from conception. And this
is the reason why, when the hour of conception arrives, and the teeming
nature is full, there is such a flutter and ecstasy about beauty whose
approach is the alleviation of the pain of travail. For love, Socrates, is
not, as you imagine, the love of the beautiful only.' 'What then?' 'The
love of generation and of birth in beauty.' 'Yes,' I said. 'Yes, indeed,'