|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
from this accumulation of alarming charges, he knew not where to begin;
his ideas rolled round upon each other like the radii of a wheel;
the words he desired to utter, instead of issuing, as it were,
in a right line from his lips, seemed to conglobate themselves
into a sphere turning on its own axis in his throat:
after several ineffectual efforts, his utterance totally failed him,
and he remained gasping, with his mouth open, his lips quivering,
his hands clasped together, and the whites of his eyes turned up
towards the prince with an expression most ruefully imploring.
"Are you that friar?" repeated the prince.
Several of the by-standers declared that he was not that friar. The little
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister:
this comedy, before ever it saw the light. Tact bids us away from many
pleasures; but it can never efface the memory of kindness.
I: A Word about My Aunt
Like Adam, our first conspicuous ancestor, I must begin, and lay the
blame upon a woman; I am glad to recognize that I differ from the father
of my sex in no important particular, being as manlike as most of his
sons. Therefore it is the woman, my Aunt Carola, who must bear the whole
reproach of the folly which I shall forthwith confess to you, since she
it was who put it into my head; and, as it was only to make Eve happy
that her husband ever consented to eat the disastrous apple, so I, save
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:
ruin. Victurnien's early training, noble and pious though it was, had
isolated him too much. He was out of the current of the life of the
time, for the life of a provincial town is certainly not in the main
current of the age; Victurnien's true destiny lifted him above it. He
had learned to think of an action, not as it affected others, nor
relatively, but absolutely from his own point of view. Like despots,
he made the law to suit the circumstance, a system which works in the
lives of prodigal sons the same confusion which fancy brings into art.
Victurnien was quick-sighted, he saw clearly and without illusion, but
he acted on impulse, and unwisely. An indefinable flaw of character,
often seen in young men, but impossible to explain, led him to will
|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 Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde:
mother had died a few months after I was born. His eyes filled
with tears as he spoke. Then he begged me never to mention her
name to him again. It made him suffer even to hear it. My father
- my father really died of a broken heart. His was the most ruined
MRS. ERLYNNE. [Rising.] I am afraid I must go now, Lady
LADY WINDERMERE. [Rising.] Oh no, don't.
MRS. ERLYNNE. I think I had better. My carriage must have come
back by this time. I sent it to Lady Jedburgh's with a note.
LADY WINDERMERE. Arthur, would you mind seeing if Mrs. Erlynne's