|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:
"If he suspects nothing, he can be safe in prison by eight o'clock in
the morning," said Rivet, consulting the almanac to ascertain the hour
of sunrise; "but not till the day after to-morrow, for he cannot be
imprisoned till he has had notice that he is to be arrested by writ,
with the option of payment or imprisonment. And so----"
"What an idiotic law!" exclaimed Lisbeth. "Of course the debtor
"He has every right to do so," said the Assessor, smiling. "So this is
"As to that," said Lisbeth, interrupting him, "I will take the paper
and hand it to him, saying that I have been obliged to raise the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare:
The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature,
The mountain or the sea, the day or night:
The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature.
Incapable of more, replete with you,
My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.
Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you,
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery?
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchemy,
To make of monsters and things indigest
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Malbone: An Oldport Romance by Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
was very dull not to know what Mrs. Meredith was talking about.
Helen Meredith is a warm-hearted, generous girl, and will not
go far wrong, though her mother is not as wise as she is
well-bred. But Kate forgets that the few hundred people one
sees here or at Paris do not represent the nation, after all."
"The most influential part of it," said Emilia.
"Are you sure, dear?" said her sister. "I do not think they
influence it half so much as a great many people who are too
busy to go to either place. I always remember those hundred
girls at the Normal School, and that they were not at all like
Mrs. Meredith, nor would they care to be like her, any more
|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 Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
awfully. The candle stood on the counter, its flame solemnly
wagging in a draught; and by that inconsiderable movement, the
whole room was filled with noiseless bustle and kept heaving like a
sea: the tall shadows nodding, the gross blots of darkness swelling
and dwindling as with respiration, the faces of the portraits and
the china gods changing and wavering like images in water. The
inner door stood ajar, and peered into that leaguer of shadows with
a long slit of daylight like a pointing finger.
From these fear-stricken rovings, Markheim's eyes returned to the
body of his victim, where it lay both humped and sprawling,
incredibly small and strangely meaner than in life. In these poor,