|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:
blackness of hell, and, like Job, I could curse the day that
gave me birth."
"Ah, now, I never feel like it," said Farfrae.
"Then pray to God that you never may, young man. While in
this state I was taken pity on by a woman--a young lady I
should call her, for she was of good family, well bred, and
well educated--the daughter of some harum-scarum military
officer who had got into difficulties, and had his pay
sequestrated. He was dead now, and her mother too, and she
was as lonely as I. This young creature was staying at the
boarding-house where I happened to have my lodging; and when
The Mayor of Casterbridge
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
Notwithstanding the general confusion, Vulich
calmly finished the deal -- seven was the card.
By the time he reached the cordon a violent
fusillade was in progress. Vulich did not trouble
himself about the bullets or the sabres of the
Chechenes, but sought for the lucky gambler.
"Seven it was!" he cried out, as at length he
perceived him in the cordon of skirmishers who
were beginning to dislodge the enemy from the
wood; and going up to him, he drew out his
purse and pocket-book and handed them to the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:
adventurer. There he sits, a right kingly man, with my lord Earl
of Cumberland on his right hand, and Walter Raleigh on his left;
the three talk together in a low voice on the chance of there being
vast and rich countries still undiscovered between Florida and the
River of Canada. Raleigh's half-scientific declamation and his
often quotations of Doctor Dee the conjuror, have less effect on
Osborne than on Cumberland (who tried many an adventure to foreign
parts, and failed in all of them; apparently for the simple reason
that, instead of going himself, he sent other people), and Raleigh
is fain to call to his help the quiet student who sits on his left
hand, Richard Hakluyt, of Oxford. But he is deep in talk with a
|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 The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
dinner they gave us yesterday for a house-warming was really as well
arranged as it was succulent."
"I myself," said Minard, "have given a few remarkable dinners to which
men in high government positions have not disdained to come, yet I am
not puffed up with pride on that account; such as my friends have
always known me, that I have remained."
"You, Monsieur le maire, have long been habituated to the splendid
existence you have made for yourself by your high commercial talents;
our friends, on the contrary, so lately embarked on the smiling ship
of Fortune, have not yet found, as the vulgar saying is, their sea-