|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson:
at the first look, as we distaste a ferret or an earwig. He was bitter
ugly, but seemed very much of a gentleman; had still manners, but
capable of sudden leaps and violences; and a small voice, which could
ring out shrill and dangerous when he so desired.
The Advocate presented us in a familiar, friendly way.
"Here, Fraser," said he, "here is Mr. Balfour whom we talked about.
Mr. David, this is Mr. Simon Fraser, whom we used to call by another
title, but that is an old song. Mr. Fraser has an errand to you."
With that he stepped aside to his book-shelves, and made believe to
consult a quarto volume in the far end.
I was thus left (in a sense) alone with perhaps the last person in the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
never to be pulled up in any rational project by the words, 'And the
money?' and finally, to be able to renew at pleasure the pink rosettes
that adorn the ears of three thoroughbreds and the lining of your hat?
"To such inquiry any ordinary young man (and we ourselves that are not
ordinary men) would reply that the happiness is incomplete; that it is
like the Madeleine without the altar; that a man must love and be
loved, or love without return, or be loved without loving, or love at
cross purposes. Now for happiness as a mental condition.
"In January 1823, after Godefroid de Beaudenord had set foot in the
various social circles which it pleased him to enter, and knew his way
about in them, and felt himself secure amid these joys, he saw the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
westward, in hopes of falling in with the three lost hunters;
who, it was now thought, might have kept to the right hand of Big
River. This course soon brought him to a fork of the Little
Missouri, about a hundred yards wide, and resembling the great
river of the same name in the strength of its current, its turbid
water, and the frequency of drift-wood and sunken trees.
Rugged mountains appeared ahead, crowding down to the water edge,
and offering a barrier to further progress on the side they were
ascending. Crossing the river, therefore, they encamped on its
northwest bank, where they found good pasturage and buffalo in
abundance. The weather was overcast and rainy, and a general
|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:
landlord, hurrying away to the bar. He returned in a moment with
a small bottle and a glass and set it down on Muller's table.
"You don't mind, sir, if he sits down here?" he asked. "He usually
sits here at this table because then he can see if he is needed over
at the house."
"Oh, please let him come here. He has prior rights to this table
undoubtedly," said the stranger politely. The old butler sat down
with an embarrassed murmur, as the voluble landlord explained that
the stranger had no objection. Then the boniface hurried off to
attend to some newly entered customers and the detective, greatly
pleased at the prospect, found himself alone with the old servant.