|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
Laurie came every day, and wheedled Aunt March till Amy was
allowed to go out with him, when they walked and rode and had
capital times. After dinner, she had to read aloud, and sit still
while the old lady slept, which she usually did for an hour, as
she dropped off over the first page. Then patchwork or towels
appeared, and Amy sewed with outward meekness and inward rebellion
till dusk, when she was allowed to amuse herself as she liked
till teatime. The evenings were the worst of all, for Aunt March
fell to telling long stories about her youth, which were so
unutterably dull that Amy was always ready to go to be, intending
to cry over her hard fate, but usually going to sleep before
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moral Emblems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
And pulled each other's youthful noses
Around the cots, among the roses.
Together but unlike they grew;
Robin was rough, and through and through
Bold, inconsiderate, and manly,
Like some historic Bruce or Stanley.
Ben had a mean and servile soul,
He robbed not, though he often stole.
He sang on Sunday in the choir,
And tamely capped the passing Squire.
At length, intolerant of trammels -
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Iliad by Homer:
heel to rouse him, upbraiding him and urging him to bestir
himself. "Wake up," he exclaimed, "son of Tydeus. How can you
sleep on in this way? Can you not see that the Trojans are
encamped on the brow of the plain hard by our ships, with but a
little space between us and them?"
On these words Diomed leaped up instantly and said, "Old man,
your heart is of iron; you rest not one moment from your labours.
Are there no younger men among the Achaeans who could go about to
rouse the princes? There is no tiring you."
And Nestor knight of Gerene made answer, "My son, all that you
have said is true. I have good sons, and also much people who
|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 Confessio Amantis by John Gower:
So that to Rome ayein therfore
In alle haste he cam ridende,
And lefte upon the field liggende
His host, til that he come ayein.
And thus this worthi capitein 5210
Appiereth redi at his day,
Wher al that evere reson may
Be lawe in audience he doth,
So that his dowhter upon soth
Of that Marchus hire hadde accused
He hath tofore the court excused.