|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson:
Of battleaxes on shattered helms, and shrieks
After the Christ, of those who falling down
Looked up for heaven, and only saw the mist;
And shouts of heathen and the traitor knights,
Oaths, insults, filth, and monstrous blasphemies,
Sweat, writhings, anguish, labouring of the lungs
In that close mist, and cryings for the light,
Moans of the dying, and voices of the dead.
Last, as by some one deathbed after wail
Of suffering, silence follows, or through death
Or deathlike swoon, thus over all that shore,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
trousers best; I used to climb the riggin' with 'em and frighten
mother till she said an' vowed she'd never take me to sea again."
I thought by the polite absent-minded smile on Mrs. Todd's
face this was no new story.
"Little Louisa was a beautiful child; yes, I always thought
Louisa was very pretty," Mrs. Todd said. "She was a dear little
girl in those days. She favored your mother; the rest of you took
after your father's folks."
"We did certain," agreed Mrs. Fosdick, rocking steadily.
"There, it does seem so pleasant to talk with an old acquaintance
that knows what you know. I see so many of these new folks
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde:
the Pope. The third is called the People. The Prince may be
cultivated. Many Princes have been. Yet in the Prince there is
danger. One thinks of Dante at the bitter feast in Verona, of
Tasso in Ferrara's madman's cell. It is better for the artist not
to live with Princes. The Pope may be cultivated. Many Popes have
been; the bad Popes have been. The bad Popes loved Beauty, almost
as passionately, nay, with as much passion as the good Popes hated
Thought. To the wickedness of the Papacy humanity owes much. The
goodness of the Papacy owes a terrible debt to humanity. Yet,
though the Vatican has kept the rhetoric of its thunders, and lost
the rod of its lightning, it is better for the artist not to live
|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 Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll:
`They'd pick me up again in a minute, THEY would! However, this
conversation is going on a little too fast: let's go back to the
last remark but one.'
`I'm afraid I can't quite remember it,' Alice said very
`In that case we start fresh,' said Humpty Dumpty, `and it's my
turn to choose a subject--' (`He talks about it just as if it
was a game!' thought Alice.) `So here's a question for you. How
old did you say you were?'
Alice made a short calculation, and said `Seven years and six
Through the Looking-Glass