|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to poison the
Emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty's prime minister of
state, and other great mandarins of the court in joints from the
gibbet, at four hundred crowns. Neither indeed can I deny, that
if the same use were made of several plump young girls in this
town, who without one single groat to their fortunes, cannot stir
abroad without a chair, and appear at a play-house and assemblies
in foreign fineries which they never will pay for; the kingdom
would not be the worse.
Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about
that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or
A Modest Proposal
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
sort of thing lately." Flamel came up and looked over his
shoulders. "That's a bit of Stendhal--one of the Italian stories--
and here are some letters of Balzac to Madame Commanville."
Glennard took the book with sudden eagerness. "Who was Madame
"His sister." He was conscious that Flamel was looking at him
with the smile that was like an interrogation point. "I didn't
know you cared for this kind of thing."
"I don't--at least I've never had the chance. Have you many
collections of letters?"
"Lord, no--very few. I'm just beginning, and most of the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, etc. by Oscar Wilde:
is very sweet of you. And is this the wonderful medicine? It
looks like a BONBON. I'll take it at once.'
'Good heavens! Lady Clem,' cried Lord Arthur, catching hold of her
hand, 'you mustn't do anything of the kind. It is a homoeopathic
medicine, and if you take it without having heartburn, it might do
you no end of harm. Wait till you have an attack, and take it
then. You will be astonished at the result.'
'I should like to take it now,' said Lady Clementina, holding up to
the light the little transparent capsule, with its floating bubble
of liquid aconitine. I am sure it is delicious. The fact is that,
though I hate doctors, I love medicines. However, I'll keep it
|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 Peter Pan by James M. Barrie:
find I won't be able to say nasty things about her after all. If
she was too fond of her rubbishy children, she couldn't help it.
Look at her in her chair, where she has fallen asleep. The
corner of her mouth, where one looks first, is almost withered
up. Her hand moves restlessly on her breast as if she had a
pain there. Some like Peter best, and some like Wendy best, but
I like her best. Suppose, to make her happy, we whisper to her
in her sleep that the brats are coming back. They are really
within two miles of the window now, and flying strong, but all
we need whisper is that they are on the way. Let's.
It is a pity we did it, for she has started up, calling their