|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Hated Son by Honore de Balzac:
beloved, and scarcely found her, so emaciated was she. White as her
own laces, with scarcely a breath left, she gathered up all her
strength to clasp Etienne's hand, and to give him her whole soul, as
heretofore, in a look. Chaverny had bequeathed to her all his life in
a last farewell. Beauvouloir and Bertrand, the mother and the sleeping
duke were all once more assembled. Same place, same scene, same
actors! but this was funereal grief in place of the joys of
motherhood; the night of death instead of the dawn of life. At that
moment the storm, threatened by the melancholy moaning of the sea
since sundown, suddenly burst forth.
"Dear flower of my life!" said the mother, kissing her son. "You were
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
exactly the proper sum. At this moment, however, his attention
was attracted by a gentleman who had come from another part of
the room and whose manner was that of a stranger to the gallery,
although he was equipped with neither guide-book nor opera-glass.
He carried a white sun-umbrella, lined with blue silk, and he
strolled in front of the Paul Veronese, vaguely looking at it,
but much too near to see anything but the grain of the canvas.
Opposite to Christopher Newman he paused and turned,
and then our friend, who had been observing him, had a chance
to verify a suspicion aroused by an imperfect view of his face.
The result of this larger scrutiny was that he presently sprang
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tour Through Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe:
A Diary: Or, An Account Of The Siege And Blockade Of Colchester,
On the 4th of June, we were alarmed in the town of Colchester that
the Lord Goring, the Lord Capel, and a body of two thousand of the
loyal party, who had been in arms in Kent, having left a great body
of an army in possession of Rochester Bridge, where they resolved
to fight the Lord Fairfax and the Parliament army, had given the
said General Fairfax the slip, and having passed the Thames at
Greenwich, were come to Stratford, and were advancing this way;
upon which news, Sir Charles Lucas, Sir George Lisle, Colonel Cook,
|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 Middlemarch by George Eliot:
by passion, finds a good in making acquaintance with life, and watches
its own powers with interest. Mary had plenty of merriment within.
Her thought was not veined by any solemnity or pathos about
the old man on the bed: such sentiments are easier to affect
than to feel about an aged creature whose life is not visibly
anything but a remnant of vices. She had always seen the most
disagreeable side of Mr. Featherstone. he was not proud of her,
and she was only useful to him. To be anxious about a soul that is
always snapping at you must be left to the saints of the earth;
and Mary was not one of them. She had never returned him a
harsh word, and had waited on him faithfully: that was her utmost.