|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
Once in grace always in grace,-- it is obvious to common sense that the
rebellious States stand to- day, in point of law, precisely where
they stood when, exhausted, beaten, conquered, they fell powerless
at the feet of Federal authority. Their State governments were overthrown,
and the lives and property of the leaders of the Rebellion were forfeited.
In reconstructing the institutions of these shattered and overthrown States,
Congress should begin with a clean slate, and make clean work of it.
Let there be no hesitation. It would be a cowardly deference
to a defeated and treacherous President, if any account were made of
the illegitimate, one-sided, sham governments hurried into existence
for a malign purpose in the absence of Congress. These pretended governments,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:
of his shoes, adorned with silver buckles, and the wetting of their
soles. Notwithstanding the woollen socks in which at all seasons he
enveloped his feet with the extreme care that ecclesiastics take of
themselves, he was apt at such times to get them a little damp, and
the next day gout was sure to give him certain infallible proofs of
constancy. Nevertheless, as the pavement of the Cloister was likely to
be dry, and as the abbe had won three francs ten sous in his rubber
with Madame de Listomere, he bore the rain resignedly from the middle
of the place de l'Archeveche, where it began to come down in earnest.
Besides, he was fondling his chimera,--a desire already twelve years
old, the desire of a priest, a desire formed anew every evening and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Mistress Wilding by Rafael Sabatini:
her own sore troubles. "Are you quite yourself again, Diana?" she
Diana answered almost fiercely, "I am quite well." And then, with a
change to wistfulness, she added, "Oh, I would I had come with you!"
"Matters had been no different," Ruth assured her. "It was a bargain
Mr. Wilding drove. It was the price I had to pay for Richard's life and
honour." She swallowed hard, and let her hands fall limply to her
sides. "Where is Richard?" she inquired.
It was her aunt who answered her. "He went forth half an hour agone
with Mr. Vallancey and Sir Rowland."
"Sir Rowland had returned, then?" She looked up quickly.
|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 The Death of the Lion by Henry James:
to read me something I quite held my breath as I listened. It was
the written scheme of another book - something put aside long ago,
before his illness, but that he had lately taken out again to
reconsider. He had been turning it round when I came down on him,
and it had grown magnificently under this second hand. Loose
liberal confident, it might have passed for a great gossiping
eloquent letter - the overflow into talk of an artist's amorous
plan. The theme I thought singularly rich, quite the strongest he
had yet treated; and this familiar statement of it, full too of
fine maturities, was really, in summarised splendour, a mine of
gold, a precious independent work. I remember rather profanely