|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
"Ginevra may be cold," she said, softly.
"She may be hungry," she continued.
The old man dropped a tear.
"Perhaps she has a child and cannot suckle it; her milk is dried up!"
said the mother, in accents of despair.
"Let her come! let her come to me!" cried Piombo. "Oh! my precious
child, thou hast conquered me."
The mother rose as if to fetch her daughter. At that instant the door
opened noisily, and a man, whose face no longer bore the semblance of
humanity, stood suddenly before them.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Master of the World by Jules Verne:
dangerous to dwell in such a region. Their articles aroused curiosity
and fear--curiosity among those who being in no danger themselves
were interested in the disturbance merely as a strange phenomenon of
nature, fear in those who were likely to be the victims if a
catastrophe actually occurred. Those more immediately threatened were
the citizens of Morganton, and even more the good folk of Pleasant
Garden and the hamlets and farms yet closer to the mountain.
Assuredly it was regrettable that mountain climbers had not
previously attempted to ascend to the summit of the Great Eyrie. The
cliffs of rock which surrounded it had never been scaled. Perhaps
they might offer no path by which even the most daring climber could
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
and cold and the other bodily sensations were unperceived by us, there
would be no use in this so-called wealth, if no one, that is, had any
necessity for those things which now make us wish for wealth in order that
we may satisfy the desires and needs of the body in respect of our various
wants. And therefore if the possession of wealth is useful in ministering
to our bodily wants, and bodily wants were unknown to us, we should not
need wealth, and possibly there would be no such thing as wealth.
ERYXIAS: Clearly not.
SOCRATES: Then our conclusion is, as would appear, that wealth is what is
useful to this end?
Eryxias once more gave his assent, but the small argument considerably
|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 An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde:
LORD CAVERSHAM. I am very glad to hear that, Chiltern . . . I
congratulate you, sir. If the country doesn't go to the dogs or the
Radicals, we shall have you Prime Minister, some day.
MASON. Luncheon is on the table, my Lady!
[MASON goes out.]
MABEL CHILTERN. You'll stop to luncheon, Lord Caversham, won't you?
LORD CAVERSHAM. With pleasure, and I'll drive you down to Downing
Street afterwards, Chiltern. You have a great future before you, a
great future. Wish I could say the same for you, sir. [To LORD
GORING.] But your career will have to be entirely domestic.