|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
the grand expression of a divine sympathy, that illuminated the
mountain visage and etherealized its ponderous granite substance
into spirit, might here be sought in vain. Something had been
originally left out, or had departed. And therefore the
marvellously gifted statesman had always a weary gloom in the
deep caverns of his eyes, as of a child that has outgrown its
playthings or a man of mighty faculties and little aims, whose
life, with all its high performances, was vague and empty,
because no high purpose had endowed it with reality.
Still, Ernest's neighbor was thrusting his elbow into his side,
and pressing him for an answer.
The Snow Image
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton:
"You think she's very sick?"
"Well, yes. She's very sick."
His face had grown still graver; he sat there as though he had
never known what it was to hurry.
Ann Eliza continued to separate the pearl and horn buttons.
Suddenly she lifted her eyes and looked at him. "Is she going to
The doctor laid a kindly hand on hers. "We never say that,
Miss Bunner. Human skill works wonders--and at the hospital Mrs.
Ramy would have every chance."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
happy hearts they left behind.
Then through the summer sky, above the blossoming earth, they
journeyed home, happier for the joy they had given, wiser for the good
they had done.
All Fairy-Land was dressed in flowers, and the soft wind went singing
by, laden with their fragrant breath. Sweet music sounded through the
air, and troops of Elves in their gayest robes hastened to the palace
where the feast was spread.
Soon the bright hall was filled with smiling faces and fair forms, and
little Eva, as she stood beside the Queen, thought she had never seen
a sight so lovely.
|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 Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
d'Amboise, Lecamus, the furrier of the two queens, was also arriving
from Paris, brought to Amboise by the anxiety into which the news of
the tumult had thrown both his family and that of Lallier. When the
old man presented himself at the gate of the chateau, the captain of
the guard, on hearing that he was the queens' furrier, said:--
"My good man, if you want to be hanged you have only to set foot in
Hearing these words, the father, in despair, sat down on a stone at a
little distance and waited until some retainer of the two queens or
some servant-woman might pass who would give him news of his son. But
he sat there all day without seeing any one whom he knew, and was