|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Plutarch's Lives by A. H. Clough:
Selymbrians should not take arms against the Athenians. This cooled
such of the inhabitants as were fiercest for the fight, for they
supposed that all their enemies were within the walls, and it raised the
hopes of others who were disposed to an accommodation. Whilst they were
parleying, and propositions making on one side and the other,
Alcibiades's whole army came up to the town. And now, conjecturing
rightly, that the Selymbrians were well inclined to peace, and fearing
lest the city might be sacked by the Thracians, who came in great
numbers to his army to serve as volunteers, out of kindness for him, he
commanded them all to retreat without the walls. And upon the
submission of the Selymbrians, he saved them from being pillaged, only
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Message by Honore de Balzac:
"What is the matter with him?"
"How if he loved you no longer?"
"Oh! that is impossible!" she cried, and a faint smile, nothing
less than frank, broke over her face. Then all at once a kind of
shudder ran through her, and she reddened, and she gave me a
wild, swift glance as she asked:
"Is he alive?"
Great God! What a terrible phrase! I was too young to bear that
tone in her voice; I made no reply, only looked at the unhappy
woman in helpless bewilderment.
"Monsieur, monsieur, give me an answer!" she cried.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery:
to Marilla and fastened imploring eyes of the latter's face.
"Well," said Marilla, unable to find any excuse for deferring
her explanation longer, "I suppose I might as well tell you.
Matthew and I have decided to keep you--that is, if you will
try to be a good little girl and show yourself grateful.
Why, child, whatever is the matter?"
"I'm crying," said Anne in a tone of bewilderment. "I can't
think why. I'm glad as glad can be. Oh, GLAD doesn't seem
the right word at all. I was glad about the White Way and
the cherry blossoms--but this! Oh, it's something more than
glad. I'm so happy. I'll try to be so good. It will be
Anne of Green Gables
|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 Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:
taking its place beside those vast human developments, of which men, noting
their spontaneity and the co-ordination of their parts, have said, in the
phraseology of old days, "This thing is not of man, but of God."
He who today looks at some great Gothic cathedral in its final form, seems
to be looking at that which might have been the incarnation of the dream of
some single soul of genius. But in truth, its origin was far otherwise.
Ages elapsed from the time the first rough stone was laid as a foundation
till the last spire and pinnacle were shaped, and the hand which laid the
foundation-stone was never the same as that which set the last stone upon
the coping. Generations often succeeded one another, labouring at
gargoyle, rose-window, and shaft, and died, leaving the work to others; the