|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes:
"Why this will never do;
The man would be a boy again,
And be a father too!"
And so I laughed, - my laughter woke
The household with its noise, -
And wrote my dream, when morning broke,
To please the gray-haired boys.
[I AM so well pleased with my boarding-house that I intend to
remain there, perhaps for years. Of course I shall have a great
many conversations to report, and they will necessarily be of
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost,' he did not stop there, but added, `teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.'
"Now he commanded men to be poor in spirit, and such he calleth
blessed and worthy of the kingdom of heaven. Again he chargeth
us to mourn in the present life, that we may obtain comfort
hereafter, and to be meek, and to be ever hungering and thirsting
after righteousness: to be merciful, and ready to distribute,
pitiful and compassionate, pure in heart, abstaining from all
defilement of flesh and spirit, peacemakers with our neighbours
and with our own souls, by bringing the worse into subjection to
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
the Guises and also by the Reformers, had arrived at Blois from
different directions, each riding at full speed, and leaving their
horses half-dead at the postern-gate of the chateau, which was guarded
by captains and soldiers absolutely devoted to the Duc de Guise, the
idol of all warriors.
One word about that great man,--a word that must tell, in the first
instance, whence his fortunes took their rise.
His mother was Antoinette de Bourbon, great-aunt of Henri IV. Of what
avail is consanguinity? He was, at this moment, aiming at the head of
his cousin the Prince de Conde. His niece was Mary Stuart. His wife
was Anne, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara. The Grand Connetable de
|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 Koran:
is in the darkness whence he cannot come forth? Thus is made seemly to
the misbelievers what they have done.
And thus have we placed in every town the great sinners thereof,
that they may use craft therein; but they use not craft except against
themselves, although they do not understand.
And when there comes to them a sign, they say, 'We will not
believe until we are brought like what the apostles were brought;' God
knows best where to put His message. There shall befall those who sin,
meanness in God's eyes, and grievous torment for the craft they used.
Whomsoever God wishes to guide, He expands His breast to Islam;
but whomsoever wishes to lead astray, He makes his breast tight and