|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
if I were to be obliged to choose, the papers are what I
should prefer. Ah, but ever so much!"
"How can you choose--how can you choose?" Miss Tita
asked, slowly, lamentably.
"I see! Of course there is nothing to be said, if you regard
the interdiction that rests upon you as quite insurmountable.
In this case it must seem to you that to part with them would
be an impiety of the worst kind, a simple sacrilege!"
Miss Tita shook her head, full of her dolefulness. "You would understand
if you had known her. I'm afraid," she quavered suddenly--"I'm afraid!
She was terrible when she was angry."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Herland by Charlotte Gilman:
the girls there were! Always excepting our three!--with whom
we presently renewed our acquaintance.
When it came to courtship, which it soon did, I can of course
best describe my own--and am least inclined to. But of Jeff I
heard somewhat; he was inclined to dwell reverently and admiringly,
at some length, on the exalted sentiment and measureless perfection
of his Celis; and Terry--Terry made so many false starts and met so
many rebuffs, that by the time he really settled down to win Alima,
he was considerably wiser. At that, it was not smooth sailing.
They broke and quarreled, over and over; he would rush off to
console himself with some other fair one--the other fair one
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
des Grassins? To this problem some replied that Monsieur Grandet would
never give his daughter to the one or to the other. The old cooper,
eaten up with ambition, was looking, they said, for a peer of France,
to whom an income of three hundred thousand francs would make all the
past, present, and future casks of the Grandets acceptable. Others
replied that Monsieur and Madame des Grassins were nobles, and
exceedingly rich; that Adolphe was a personable young fellow; and that
unless the old man had a nephew of the pope at his beck and call, such
a suitable alliance ought to satisfy a man who came from nothing,--a
man whom Saumur remembered with an adze in his hand, and who had,
moreover, worn the /bonnet rouge/. Certain wise heads called attention
|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 Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne:
descending towards Bitter Creek Valley, to rise again to the
dividing ridge of the waters between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
There were many creeks in this mountainous region, and it was necessary
to cross Muddy Creek, Green Creek, and others, upon culverts.
Passepartout grew more and more impatient as they went on,
while Fix longed to get out of this difficult region, and was more
anxious than Phileas Fogg himself to be beyond the danger of delays
and accidents, and set foot on English soil.
At ten o'clock at night the train stopped at Fort Bridger station,
and twenty minutes later entered Wyoming Territory, following the
valley of Bitter Creek throughout. The next day, 7th December,
Around the World in 80 Days