|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
have I quitted my regular traffic, leaving my warehouse in the
care of my clerks, and putting my credit to great hazard, and,
furthermore, have put myself in peril of death or captivity by
the accursed heathen savages--and all this without daring to ask
the prayers of the congregation, because the quest for the Great
Carbuncle is deemed little better than a traffic with the Evil
One. Now think ye that I would have done this grievous wrong to
my soul, body, reputation, and estate, without a reasonable
chance of profit?"
"Not I, pious Master Pigsnort," said the man with the spectacles.
"I never laid such a great folly to thy charge."
Twice Told Tales
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:
would not have befallen you. I know that kind of phiz!"
Like all narrow natures, Mme. Vauquer was wont to confine her
attention to events, and did not go very deeply into the causes
that brought them about; she likewise preferred to throw the
blame of her own mistakes on other people, so she chose to
consider that the honest vermicelli maker was responsible for her
misfortune. It had opened her eyes, so she said, with regard to
him. As soon as she saw that her blandishments were in vain, and
that her outlay on her toilette was money thrown away, she was
not slow to discover the reason of his indifference. It became
plain to her at once that there was SOME OTHER ATTRACTION, to use
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
remained with them, and the minute care to which the apartment bore
witness revealed the sense of order and the maternal affections
expended by this woman in her master's interest, in the management of
his house, and the charge of his children. These three good souls,
grave, and uncommunicative folk, seemed to have entered into the idea
which ruled the Marquis' domestic life. And the contrast between their
habits and those of most servants was a peculiarity which cast an air
of mystery over the house, and fomented the calumny to which M.
d'Espard himself lent occasion. Very laudable motives had made him
determine never to be on visiting terms with any of the other tenants
in the house. In undertaking to educate his boys he wished to keep
|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 King of the Golden River by John Ruskin:
life." He strode over the prostrate body and darted on. And a
flash of blue lightning rose out of the East, shaped like a sword;
it shook thrice over the whole heaven and left it dark with one
heavy, impenetrable shade. The sun was setting; it plunged towards
the horizon like a redhot ball.
The roar of the Golden River rose on Hans's ear. He stood
at the brink of the chasm through which it ran. Its waves were
filled with the red glory of the sunset; they shook their crests
like tongues of fire, and flashes of bloody light gleamed along
their foam. Their sound came mightier and mightier on his senses;
his brain grew giddy with the prolonged thunder. Shuddering he