|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Talisman by Walter Scott:
being able to distinguish its form. "Beware--I am here for death
"Take up thy long-fanged Sathanas," said the voice, "or I will
conjure him with a bolt from my arblast."
At the same time was heard the sound of a spring or check, as
when a crossbow is bent.
"Unbend thy arblast, and come into the moonlight," said the Scot,
"or, by Saint Andrew, I will pin thee to the earth, be what or
whom thou wilt!"
As he spoke he poised his long lance by the middle, and, fixing
his eye upon the object, which seemed to move, he brandished the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Apology by Plato:
has a name for wisdom, ought not to demean himself. Whether this opinion
of me be deserved or not, at any rate the world has decided that Socrates
is in some way superior to other men. And if those among you who are said
to be superior in wisdom and courage, and any other virtue, demean
themselves in this way, how shameful is their conduct! I have seen men of
reputation, when they have been condemned, behaving in the strangest
manner: they seemed to fancy that they were going to suffer something
dreadful if they died, and that they could be immortal if you only allowed
them to live; and I think that such are a dishonour to the state, and that
any stranger coming in would have said of them that the most eminent men of
Athens, to whom the Athenians themselves give honour and command, are no
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Purse by Honore de Balzac:
drawers, she turned to Hippolyte, and said with a blush:
"I am not tall enough. Will you get it down?"
A feeling of modesty, betrayed in the expression of her face and
the tones of her voice, was the real motive of her request; and
the young man, understanding this, gave her one of those glances
of intelligence which are the sweetest language of love. Seeing
that the painter had read her soul, Adelaide cast down her eyes
with the instinct of reserve which is the secret of a maiden's
heart. Hippolyte, finding nothing to say, and feeling almost
timid, took down the picture, examined it gravely, carrying it to
the light of the window, and then went away, without saying a
|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 Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:
She had--with a feeling of self-satisfaction--just taught Lukerya
how to mix the dough, when her six-year-old grandson Misha,
wearing an apron and with darned stockings on his crooked little
legs, ran into the kitchen with a frightened face.
'Grandma, a dreadful old man wants to see you.'
Lukerya looked out at the door.
'There is a pilgrim of some kind, a man . . .'
Praskovya Mikhaylovna rubbed her thin elbows against one another,
wiped her hands on her apron and went upstairs to get a
five-kopek piece [about a penny] out of her purse for him, but
remembering that she had nothing less than a ten-kopek piece she