|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Poems by Oscar Wilde:
But a dull shield, a crown of withered bays!
Yet who beneath this night of wars and fears,
From tranquil tower can watch the coming years;
Who can foretell what joys the day shall bring,
Or why before the dawn the linnets sing?
Thou, even thou, mayst wake, as wakes the rose
To crimson splendour from its grave of snows;
As the rich corn-fields rise to red and gold
From these brown lands, now stiff with Winter's cold;
As from the storm-rack comes a perfect star!
O much-loved city! I have wandered far
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:
But for colour and shape, to what shall we compare it? To polished
cornelian, says Mr. Gosse. I say, to one of the great red
capsicums which hang drying in every Covent-garden seedsman's
window. Yet is either simile better than the guess of a certain
lady, who, entering a room wherein a couple of Cardium tuberculatum
were waltzing about a plate, exclaimed, "Oh dear! I always heard
that my pretty red coral came out of a fish, and here it is all
"C. tuberculatum," says Mr. Gosse (who described it from specimens
which I sent him in 1854), "is far the finest species. The valves
are more globose and of a warmer colour; those that I have seen are
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:
treble misery on us all."
I trembled violently at his exordium, and my father continued--
"I confess, my son, that I have always looked forward to your
marriage with our dear Elizabeth as the tie of our domestic comfort
and the stay of my declining years. You were attached to each
other from your earliest infancy; you studied together, and appeared,
in dispositions and tastes, entirely suited to one another.
But so blind is the experience of man that what I conceived
to be the best assistants to my plan may have entirely destroyed it.
You, perhaps, regard her as your sister, without any wish that she might
become your wife. Nay, you may have met with another whom you may love;
|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 On Revenues by Xenophon:
world. So true is it, that the farther we remove from Athens the
greater the extreme of heat or cold to be encountered; or to use
another illustration, the traveller who desires to traverse the
confines of Hellas from end to end will find that, whether he voyages
by sea or by land, he is describing a circle, the centre of which is
 See "Geog. of Brit. Isles." J. R. and S. A. Green, ch. i. p. 7:
"London, in fact, is placed at what is very nearly the geometrical
centre of those masses of land which make up the earth surface of
the globe, and is thus more than any city of the world the natural
point of convergence for its different lines of navigation," etc.