|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Letters from England by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft:
what is fifty miles when one is under the wing of the Railway King
and can have a special engine at one's disposal. On arriving at the
Castle Howard station we found Lord Carlisle's carriage with four
horses and most venerable coachman waiting to receive us. We enter
the Park almost immediately, but it is about four miles to the
Castle, through many gates, which we had mounted footmen open for
us. Lady Carlisle received us in the most delightful manner. . . .
I was delighted to see Lord Morpeth's home and his mother, who
seldom now goes to London. She was the daughter of the beautiful
Duchess of Devonshire, and took me into her own dressing-room to
show me her picture. . . . On Wednesday we went into York to witness
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
were seen above her white and wrinkled forehead, or beside her hollow
"It is now fifteen days," she said, "since Ginevra made a practice of
"Jean is so slow!" cried the impatient old man, buttoning up his blue
coat and seizing his hat, which he dashed upon his head as he took his
cane and departed.
"You will not get far," said his wife, calling after him.
As she spoke, the porte-cochere was opened and shut, and the old
mother heard the steps of her Ginevra in the court-yard. Bartolomeo
almost instantly reappeared, carrying his daughter, who struggled in
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
felt a sympathy betwixt himself and her.
"No, Cadmus," said the same voice that had spoken to him in the
field of the armed men, "this is not that dear sister Europa
whom you have sought so faithfully all over the wide world.
This is Harmonia, a daughter of the sky, who is given you
instead of sister, and brothers, and friend, and mother. You
will find all those dear ones in her alone."
So King Cadmus dwelt in the palace, with his new friend
Harmonia, and found a great deal of comfort in his magnificent
abode, but would doubtless have found as much, if not more, in
the humblest cottage by the wayside. Before many years went by,
|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 Charmides by Plato:
about the charm which I learned with so much pain, and to so little profit,
from the Thracian, for the sake of a thing which is nothing worth. I think
indeed that there is a mistake, and that I must be a bad enquirer, for
wisdom or temperance I believe to be really a great good; and happy are
you, Charmides, if you certainly possess it. Wherefore examine yourself,
and see whether you have this gift and can do without the charm; for if you
can, I would rather advise you to regard me simply as a fool who is never
able to reason out anything; and to rest assured that the more wise and
temperate you are, the happier you will be.
Charmides said: I am sure that I do not know, Socrates, whether I have or
have not this gift of wisdom and temperance; for how can I know whether I