|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:
for the face of the man he had sought to kill had all the bloom
of boyhood, all the unstained purity of youth. He seemed little more
than a lad of twenty summers, hardly older, if older indeed at all,
than his sister had been when they had parted so many years ago.
It was obvious that this was not the man who had destroyed
He loosened his hold and reeled back. "My God! my God!"
he cried, "and I would have murdered you!"
Dorian Gray drew a long breath. "You have been on the brink of
committing a terrible crime, my man," he said, looking at him sternly.
"Let this be a warning to you not to take vengeance into your
The Picture of Dorian Gray
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
A descriptive paragraph or two, treating of the seven-gabled
mansion in its more recent aspect, will bring this preliminary
chapter to a close. The street in which it upreared its venerable
peaks has long ceased to be a fashionable quarter of the town;
so that, though the old edifice was surrounded by habitations of
modern date, they were mostly small, built entirely of wood, and
typical of the most plodding uniformity of common life. Doubtless,
however, the whole story of human existence may be latent in each
of them, but with no picturesqueness, externally, that can attract
the imagination or sympathy to seek it there. But as for the old
structure of our story, its white-oak frame, and its boards,
House of Seven Gables
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:
evil--one which must lead to universal ruin unless checked and
literally mortified by selfrenunciation in obedience to
superhuman guidance, or at least to some reasoned system of
morals. When it became apparent to the cleverest of them that no
such superhuman guidance existed, and that their secularist
systems had all the fictitiousness of "revelation" without its
poetry, there was no escaping the conclusion that all the good
that man had done must be put down to his arbitrary will as well
as all the evil he had done; and it was also obvious that if
progress were a reality, his beneficent impulses must be gaining
on his destructive ones. It was under the influence of these
|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 Persuasion by Jane Austen:
yet he looked grave, and seemed irresolute, and only by very slow degrees
came at last near enough to speak to her. She felt that something
must be the matter. The change was indubitable. The difference
between his present air and what it had been in the Octagon Room
was strikingly great. Why was it? She thought of her father,
of Lady Russell. Could there have been any unpleasant glances?
He began by speaking of the concert gravely, more like the Captain
Wentworth of Uppercross; owned himself disappointed, had expected singing;
and in short, must confess that he should not be sorry when it was over.
Anne replied, and spoke in defense of the performance so well,
and yet in allowance for his feelings so pleasantly, that his countenance