|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen:
thus they rode through the wood to the old town of Bordingborg, and that was a
large and very lively town. High towers rose from the castle of the king, and
the brightness of many candles streamed from all the windows; within was dance
and song, and King Waldemar and the young, richly-attired maids of honor
danced together. The morn now came; and as soon as the sun appeared, the whole
town and the king's palace crumbled together, and one tower after the other;
and at last only a single one remained standing where the castle had been
before,* and the town was so small and poor, and the school boys came along
with their books under their arms, and said, "2000 inhabitants!" but that was
not true, for there were not so many.
* Bordingborg, in the reign of King Waldemar, a considerable place, now an
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twilight Land by Howard Pyle:
money twenty times as fast. Every day there was feasting and
drinking going on in his house, and roaring and rioting and
dancing and singing. The wealth of a king could not keep up such
a life forever, so by the end of a year and a half the last of
the treasure was gone, and the young spendthrift was just as poor
as ever. Then once again his friends left him as they had done
before, and all that he could do was to rap his head and curse
At last, one morning, he plucked up courage to go to the old man
who had helped him once before, to see whether he would not help
him again. Rap! tap! tap! he knocked at the door, and who should
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson:
habitations of the dead; I know that you will stay behind. Let me
find you safe when I return." "No, I will not be left," answered
Pekuah, "I will go down between you and the Prince."
They then all descended, and roved with wonder through the
labyrinth of subterraneous passages, where the bodies were laid in
rows on either side.
CHAPTER XLVIII - IMLAC DISCOURSES ON THE NATURE OF THE SOUL.
"WHAT reason," said the Prince, "can be given why the Egyptians
should thus expensively preserve those carcases which some nations
consume with fire, others lay to mingle with the earth, and all
agree to remove from their sight as soon as decent rites can be
|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 Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:
Frightened at the loss of forty thousand francs swallowed up without
profit in what she called her "dear house," Sylvie now set to work to
recover it by economy. She gave no more dinners, which had cost her
forty or fifty francs without the wines, and did not fulfil her social
hopes, hopes that are as hard to realize in the provinces as in Paris.
She sent away her cook, took a country-girl to do the menial work, and
did her own cooking, as she said, "for pleasure."
Fourteen months after their return to Provins, the brother and sister
had fallen into a solitary and wholly unoccupied condition. Their
banishment from society roused in Sylvie's heart a dreadful hatred