|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
Madame Dayelle glided into the royal chamber after scratching on the
door,--a respectful custom, invented by Catherine de' Medici and
adopted by the court of France.
"How is the weather, my dear Dayelle?" said Queen Mary, showing her
fresh young face out of the bed, and shaking the curtains.
"What's the matter, my Dayelle? You look as if the archers of the
guard were after you."
"Oh! madame, is the king still asleep?"
"We are to leave the chateau; Monsieur le cardinal requests me to tell
|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:
with the murderer and setting three Cossacks at
the door ready to force it open and rush to my
aid at a given signal, I walked round the hut and
approached the fatal window. My heart was
"Aha, you cursed wretch!" cried the captain.
"Are you laughing at us, eh? Or do you think
that we won't be able to get the better of you?"
He began to knock at the door with all his
might. Putting my eye to the chink, I followed
the movements of the Cossack, who was not
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
groans he had suppressed; and as Dick turned and left the room, he
was filled with admiration for that rugged fortitude.
"And yet," he thought, "of what use is courage without wit? Had
his hands been clean, he would have spoken; his silence did confess
the secret louder than words. Nay, upon all sides, proof floweth
on me. Sir Daniel, he or his men, hath done this thing."
Dick paused in the stone passage with a heavy heart. At that hour,
in the ebb of Sir Daniel's fortune, when he was beleaguered by the
archers of the Black Arrow and proscribed by the victorious
Yorkists, was Dick, also, to turn upon the man who had nourished
and taught him, who had severely punished, indeed, but yet
|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 Case of The Lamp That Went Out by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
a thought or a suspicion that he - my pet, my darling - that it was
he who was forced, through some terrible circumstance of which I do
not know, to free his wife, in this manner, from the wretch who
Mrs. Bernauer wrung her hands and gazed with despairing eyes at the
man who sat before her, himself deeply moved.
Again there was a long silence. Muller could not find a word to
comfort the weeping woman. There was no longer anger in his heart,
nothing but the deepest pity. He took out his handkerchief and
wiped away the drops that were dimming his own eyes.
"You know that I will have to go to Venice?" he asked.