|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Malbone: An Oldport Romance by Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
believe without any reason have a great deal more weight with
us. Do you not believe it?"
"No," said Philip, point-blank.
"It is very strange," mused Kate. "Of course you do not know
much about it. She may have misled you, but I am sure that
neither you nor any one else could have cured her of a passion,
especially an unreasonable one, without putting another in its
place. If you did it without that, you are a magician, as Hope
once called you. Philip, I am afraid of you."
"There we sympathize," said Phil. "I am sometimes afraid of
myself, but I discover within half an hour what a very
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
sudden infatuation for form manifested by those elegant descendants of
the middle ages, jestingly called Young France. He assumed the
singularities of a man of genius and enrolled himself among those
adorers of art, whose intentions, let us say, were excellent; for
surely nothing could be more ridiculous than the costume of Frenchmen
in the nineteenth century, and nothing more courageous than an attempt
to reform it. Raoul, let us do him this justice, presents in his
person something fine, fantastic, and extraordinary, which needs a
frame. His enemies, or his friends, they are about the same thing,
agree that nothing could harmonize better with his mind than his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Adam Bede by George Eliot:
not Michael Holdsworth had a pair of oxen "sweltered" while he was
ploughing on Good Friday? That was a demonstration that work on
sacred days was a wicked thing; and with wickedness of any sort
Martin Poyser was quite clear that he would have nothing to do,
since money got by such means would never prosper.
"It a'most makes your fingers itch to be at the hay now the sun
shines so," he observed, as they passed through the "Big Meadow."
"But it's poor foolishness to think o' saving by going against
your conscience. There's that Jim Wakefield, as they used to call
'Gentleman Wakefield,' used to do the same of a Sunday as o'
weekdays, and took no heed to right or wrong, as if there was
|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 Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
I am quite of your mind in thinking that the sons of peers ought to
have an air peculiar to themselves, and perfectly distinctive manners.
Though nowadays no external sign stamps a man of rank, those young men
will have, perhaps, to you the indefinable something that will reveal
it. Then, again, you have your heart well in hand, like a good
horseman who is sure his steed cannot bolt. Luck be with you, my
"You are making game of me, papa. Well, I assure you that I would
rather die in Mademoiselle de Conde's convent than not be the wife of
a peer of France."
She slipped out of her father's arms, and proud of being her own