|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
here this morning, but I don't regret it, as it gives me the happy
chance of meeting you."
"I, too," said la Peyrade, tying up his bundle. "I am very glad to see
you, but I must leave you now; I have an appointment, and I suppose
you want to do your business at once."
"I have done it," said Thuillier.
"Did you speak to Olivier Vinet, that mortal enemy of yours? he sits
in that court," asked la Peyrade.
"No," said Thuillier, naming another official.
"Well, that's queer!" said the barrister; "that fellow must have the
gift of ubiquity; he has been all the morning in the fifth court-room,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tales and Fantasies by Robert Louis Stevenson:
too. They had a sad walk home, and that night, full of love
and good counsel, Dick exerted every art to please his
father, to convince him of his respect and affection, to heal
up this breach of kindness, and reunite two hearts. But
alas! the Squire was sick and peevish; he had been all day
glooming over Dick's estrangement - for so he put it to
himself, and now with growls, cold words, and the cold
shoulder, he beat off all advances, and entrenched himself in
a just resentment.
CHAPTER V - THE PRODIGAL FATHER MAKES HIS DEBUT AT HOME
THAT took place upon a Tuesday. On the Thursday following,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
It was a collection of furnaces, fat-kettles, and oil sheds; and when
the works were in full operation certainly gave forth no very
pleasant savor. But all this is quite different with a South Sea
Sperm Whaler; which in a voyage of four years perhaps, after
completely filling her hold with oil, does not, perhaps, consume
fifty days in the business of boiling out; and in the state that it
is casked, the oil is nearly scentless. The truth is, that living or
dead, if but decently treated, whales as a species are by no means
creatures of ill odor; nor can whalemen be recognised, as the people
of the middle ages affected to detect a Jew in the company, by the
nose. Nor indeed can the whale possibly be otherwise than fragrant,
|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 Chance by Joseph Conrad:
I asked him when this had happened; and he told me that it was three
days after parting from the tug, just outside the channel--to be
precise. A head wind had set in with unpleasant damp weather. He
had come up to leeward of the poop, still feeling very much of a
stranger, and an untried officer, at six in the evening to take his
watch. To see her was quite as unexpected as seeing a vision. When
she turned away her head he recollected himself and dropped his
eyes. What he could see then was only, close to the long chair on
which she reclined, a pair of long, thin legs ending in black cloth
boots tucked in close to the skylight seat. Whence he concluded
that the 'old gentleman,' who wore a grey cap like the captain's,