|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:
[LANE goes out.]
ALGERNON. How are you, my dear Ernest? What brings you up to
JACK. Oh, pleasure, pleasure! What else should bring one
anywhere? Eating as usual, I see, Algy!
ALGERNON. [Stiffly.] I believe it is customary in good society to
take some slight refreshment at five o'clock. Where have you been
since last Thursday?
JACK. [Sitting down on the sofa.] In the country.
ALGERNON. What on earth do you do there?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
the forest of Ile-Adam, who was finishing an Havana cigar while
waiting for his companion, who had lost his way in the tangled
underbrush of the wood. At his side four panting dogs were watching,
as he did, the personage he addressed. To understand how sarcastic
were these exhortations, repeated at intervals, we should state that
the approaching huntsman was a stout little man whose protuberant
stomach was the evidence of a truly ministerial "embonpoint." He was
struggling painfully across the furrows of a vast wheat-field recently
harvested, the stubble of which considerably impeded him; while to add
to his other miseries the sun's rays, striking obliquely on his face,
collected an abundance of drops of perspiration. Absorbed in the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:
personal graces to recommend them, were very well received at the hotel,
which had an air of capacious hospitality. They found that a bath was
not unattainable, and were indeed struck with the facilities for prolonged
and reiterated immersion with which their apartment was supplied.
After bathing a good deal--more, indeed, than they had ever done before on
a single occasion--they made their way into the dining room of the hotel,
which was a spacious restaurant, with a fountain in the middle, a great
many tall plants in ornamental tubs, and an array of French waiters.
The first dinner on land, after a sea voyage, is, under any circumstances,
a delightful occasion, and there was something particularly agreeable
in the circumstances in which our young Englishmen found themselves.
|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 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:
hundreds of them every day, as I found afterwards; but perhaps had
paid dear enough for them.
JUNE 17. - I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her three-
score eggs; and her flesh was to me, at that time, the most savoury
and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having had no flesh,
but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrid place.
JUNE 18. - Rained all day, and I stayed within. I thought at this
time the rain felt cold, and I was something chilly; which I knew
was not usual in that latitude.
JUNE 19. - Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been