|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:
that your honour and your friendship will equally deter you from
exaggerating whatever you may have witnessed."
"Well, then," said the General, "I will proceed with my story as
well as I can, relying upon your candour, and yet distinctly
feeling that I would rather face a battery than recall to my mind
the odious recollections of last night."
He paused a second time, and then perceiving that Lord Woodville
remained silent and in an attitude of attention, he commenced,
though not without obvious reluctance, the history of his night's
adventures in the Tapestried Chamber.
"I undressed and went to bed so soon as your lordship left me
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
that you would never attribute good sense to a stranger because he had
a handsome face, or all the virtues because he had a fine figure. And
I am quite of your mind in thinking that the sons of peers ought to
have an air peculiar to themselves, and perfectly distinctive manners.
Though nowadays no external sign stamps a man of rank, those young men
will have, perhaps, to you the indefinable something that will reveal
it. Then, again, you have your heart well in hand, like a good
horseman who is sure his steed cannot bolt. Luck be with you, my
"You are making game of me, papa. Well, I assure you that I would
rather die in Mademoiselle de Conde's convent than not be the wife of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Euthyphro by Plato:
SOCRATES: Remember that I did not ask you to give me two or three examples
of piety, but to explain the general idea which makes all pious things to
be pious. Do you not recollect that there was one idea which made the
impious impious, and the pious pious?
EUTHYPHRO: I remember.
SOCRATES: Tell me what is the nature of this idea, and then I shall have a
standard to which I may look, and by which I may measure actions, whether
yours or those of any one else, and then I shall be able to say that such
and such an action is pious, such another impious.
EUTHYPHRO: I will tell you, if you like.
SOCRATES: I should very much like.
|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 Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
ness of lightning, a little twist of his foil sent Henry's
weapon clanging across the floor of the armory.
For an instant the King stood as tense and white as
though the hand of death had reached out and touched
his heart with its icy fingers. The episode meant more
to him than being bested in play by the best swordsman
in England--for that surely was no disgrace--to Henry
it seemed prophetic of the outcome of a future struggle
when he should stand face to face with the real De
Montfort; and then, seeing in De Vac only the creature
of his imagination with which he had vested the like-
The Outlaw of Torn