|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
conventional relations. To ward off the peril she had, with an
almost crude precipitancy, revealed her opinions to him. To her
surprise, she found that he shared them. She was attracted by
the frankness of a suitor who, while pressing his suit, admitted
that he did not believe in marriage. Her worst audacities did
not seem to surprise him: he had thought out all that she had
felt, and they had reached the same conclusion. People grew at
varying rates, and the yoke that was an easy fit for the one
might soon become galling to the other. That was what divorce
was for: the readjustment of personal relations. As soon as
their necessarily transitive nature was recognized they would
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy:
ye clothed Me not; sick, and in prison, and ye
visited Me not. Then shall they also answer
Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hun-
gred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick,
or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?
Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say
unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the
least of these, ye did it not to Me. And these
shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the
righteous into life eternal."
Vassily, who was sitting on the floor at Chouev's
The Forged Coupon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
factotum who leaves all the Vatels of the world far behind him; he
would never have fallen on his sword for lack of a fish! Colored
lamps, garlands, draperies, decorated the dining-room; even fireworks
were provided; nothing was wanting to the fete, which lasted to a late
hour in the gardens of the chateau, where the populace danced and
drank to its heart's content.
Nearly all the invited guests came except those we desired to
compromise. The invitations having been sent at short notice, it was
amusing to read the notes and letters of excuse, which Sallenauve
ordered to be brought to him in the salon as they arrived. As he
opened each he took care to say: "This is from Monsieur the sub-
|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 Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells:
"YOU ASKED YOUR FATHER FOR A REASON!" said Miss Miniver, with
"Yes. I tried to have it out with him, but he wouldn't have it
out. "Ann Veronica reflected for an instant "That's why I think
I ought to come."
"You asked your father for a reason!" Miss Miniver repeated.
"We always have things out with OUR father, poor dear!" said
Hetty. "He's got almost to like it."
"Men," said Miss Miniver, "NEVER have a reason. Never! And they
don't know it! They have no idea of it. It's one of their worst
traits, one of their very worst."