|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from American Notes by Rudyard Kipling:
open-mouthed vehemence of adoration struck me almost as
indelicate. My hosts talked for rather more than three hours,
and at the end seemed ready for three hours more.
But when the lieutenant--such a big, brave, gentle giant--rose to
his feet, he delivered what seemed to me as the speech of the
evening. I remember nearly the whole of it, and it ran
some-thing in this way:--"Gentlemen--It's very good of you to
give me this dinner and to tell me all these prettythings, but
what I want you to understand--the fact is, what we want and what
we ought to get at once, is a navy--more ships--lots of 'em--"
Then we howled the top of the roof off, and I for one fell in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
stepfather, and--Miss Innes, did you ever hear of any one being
wretchedly poor in the midst of luxury?
"Did you ever long, and long, for money--money to use without
question, money that no one would take you to task about? My
mother and I have been surrounded for years with every indulgence
everything that would make a display. But we have never had any
money, Miss Innes; that must have been why mother rented this
house. My stepfather pays out bills. It's the most maddening,
humiliating existence in the world. I would love honest poverty
"Never mind," I said; "when you and Halsey are married you
The Circular Staircase
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac:
reflecting lustre of his friend, walked constantly under his umbrella,
wore his boots, gilded himself with his rays. When he posed in Henri's
company or walked at his side, he had the air of saying: "Don't insult
us, we are real dogs." He often permitted himself to remark fatuously:
"If I were to ask Henri for such and such a thing, he is a good enough
friend of mine to do it." But he was careful never to ask anything of
him. He feared him, and his fear, although imperceptible, reacted upon
the others, and was of use to De Marsay.
"De Marsay is a man of a thousand," said Paul. "Ah, you will see, he
will be what he likes. I should not be surprised to find him one of
these days Minister of Foreign Affairs. Nothing can withstand him."
The Girl with the Golden Eyes
|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 Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
powder barrels aft and lucifers forward; how the devil could the
lucifers get afire in this drenching spray here? Why, my little man,
you have pretty red hair, but you couldn't get afire now. Shake
yourself; you're Aquarius, or the water-bearer, Flask; might fill
pitchers at your coat collar. Don't you see, then, that for these
extra risks the Marine Insurance companies have extra guarantees?
Here are hydrants, Flask. But hark, again, and I'll answer ye the
other thing. First take your leg off from the crown of the anchor
here, though, so I can pass the rope; now listen. What's the mighty
difference between holding a mast's lightning-rod in the storm, and
standing close by a mast that hasn't got any lightning-rod at all in