|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
Antipas said that the man might some day be useful to them. His
attacks upon Jerusalem would gain them the allegiance of the rest of
"No," said Herodias, "the Jews will accept any master, and are
incapable of feeling any true patriotism." She added that, as for the
man who was trying to influence the people with hopes cherished since
the days of Nehemiah, the best policy was to suppress him.
The tetrarch replied that there was no haste about the matter, and
expressed his doubt that any real danger was to be feared from
Iaokanann even affecting to laugh at the idea.
"Do not deceive thyself!" exclaimed Herodias. And she retold the story
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:
earthenware jug. Never had my imagination, when it carried me to the
deserts where early Christian anchorites spent their lives, depicted
to my mind a form more grandly religious nor more horribly repentant
than that of this man. You, who have a life-long experience of the
confessional, dear uncle, you may never, perhaps, have seen so awful a
remorse,--remorse sunk in the waves of prayer, the ceaseless
supplication of a mute despair. This fisherman, this mariner, this
hard, coarse Breton, was sublime through some hidden emotion. Had
those eyes wept? That hand, moulded for an unwrought statue, had it
struck? That ragged brow, where savage honor was imprinted, and on
which strength had left vestiges of the gentleness which is an
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
"Described to a T," commended the Assistant Commissioner. "Only
mine is clean-shaven altogether. You've seen him. It's a witty
"I have seen him!" said Toodles incredulously. "I can't conceive
where I could have seen him."
"At the Explorers, I should say," dropped the Assistant
Commissioner calmly. At the name of that extremely exclusive club
Toodles looked scared, and stopped short.
"Nonsense," he protested, but in an awe-struck tone. "What do you
mean? A member?"
The Secret Agent
|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 Blix by Frank Norris:
be contented with that, and think you were only good for that and
nothing better. You've got it in you, Condy, to be a great story-
teller. I believe in you, and I've every confidence in you. But
just so long as you stay here and are willing to do hack work,
just so long you will be a hack writer. You must break from it;
you MUST get away. I know you have a good time here; but there
are so many things better than that and more worth while. You
ought to make up your mind to get East, and work for that and
nothing else. I know you want to go, but wanting isn't enough.
Enthusiasm without energy isn't enough. You have enthusiasm,
Condy; but you MUST have energy. You must be willing to give up