|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
I'm afraid you'll think me odiously intrusive, but you know I MUST
have a garden--upon my honor I must!"
Her face was not young, but it was simple; it was not fresh, but it was mild.
She had large eyes which were not bright, and a great deal of hair which
was not "dressed," and long fine hands which were--possibly--not clean.
She clasped these members almost convulsively as, with a confused,
alarmed look, she broke out, "Oh, don't take it away from us;
we like it ourselves!"
"You have the use of it then?"
"Oh, yes. If it wasn't for that!" And she gave a shy, melancholy smile.
"Isn't it a luxury, precisely? That's why, intending to be
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
debtor," replied a handsome woman who now appeared in a charming
"In that case, my dear Suzanne," said Bixiou, "I am certain we may go
"Oh! what a beautiful creature!" said Gazonal.
"That is Madame Gaillard," replied Leon de Lora, speaking low into his
cousin's ear. "She is the most humble-minded woman in Paris, for she
had the public and has contented herself with a husband."
"What is your will, messeigneurs?" said the facetious editor, seeing
his two friends and imitating Frederic Lemaitre.
Theodore Gaillard, formerly a wit, had ended by becoming a stupid man
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:
appetite, although Carolus and Johannes, who by this time had recovered
somewhat from the shock of that night of blood and terror, ate in a
fashion which might have filled Hans himself with envy.
Shortly after we had finished our meal, Hans, who, by the way, seemed to
have quite recovered from his fatigues, came to remove the dishes. He
informed us that all the Boers were having a great "talk," and that they
were about to send for me. Sure enough, a few minutes later two armed
men arrived and ordered me to follow them. I turned to say some words
of farewell to Marie, but she said:
"I go where you do, husband," and, as no objection was made by the
guard, she came.
|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 Another Study of Woman by Honore de Balzac:
the poorest farm-buildings of la Beauce. These dwellings consist of a
single room, with one end divided off by a wooden partition, the
smaller division serving as a store-room for forage.
"In the darkness of twilight I could just see a faint smoke rising
above this house. Hoping to find there some comrades more
compassionate than those I had hitherto addressed, I boldly walked as
far as the farm. On going in, I found the table laid. Several
officers, and with them a woman--a common sight enough--were eating
potatoes, some horseflesh broiled over the charcoal, and some frozen
beetroots. I recognized among the company two or three artillery
captains of the regiment in which I had first served. I was welcomed