|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas:
nothing in the world but the general's sword which is worth
so much as himself."
"Odds fish! as my father said," cried Charles. "That is a
gallant proposal, and a gallant man, is he not, duke?"
"Upon my honor, yes, sire," and he drew his sword.
"Monsieur," said he to D'Artagnan, "here is what you demand.
Many may have handled a better blade; but however modest
mine may be, I have never surrendered it to any one."
D'Artagnan received with pride the sword which had just made
"Oh! oh!" cried Charles II.; "what, a sword that has
Ten Years Later
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Passion in the Desert by Honore de Balzac:
her, but she turned round, as if enraged, and with her sharp teeth
caught hold of my leg--gently, I daresay; but I, thinking she would
devour me, plunged my dagger into her throat. She rolled over, giving
a cry that froze my heart; and I saw her dying, still looking at me
without anger. I would have given all the world--my cross even, which
I had not got then--to have brought her to life again. It was as
though I had murdered a real person; and the soldiers who had seen my
flag, and were come to my assistance, found me in tears.'
" 'Well sir,' he said, after a moment of silence, 'since then I have
been in war in Germany, in Spain, in Russia, in France; I've certainly
carried my carcase about a good deal, but never have I seen anything
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland by Olive Schreiner:
and he said, 'My friends, Naboth has a vineyard in this land; and in it
there is much gold; and Ahab has desired to have it that the wealth may be
"And he put the old book aside, and he took up another which was written
yesterday. And the men and women whispered one to another, even in the
church, 'Is not that the Blue Book Report of the Select Committee of the
Cape Parliament on the Jameson raid?'
"And the man said, 'Friends, the first story I have read you is one of the
oldest stories of the world: the story I am about to read you is one of
the newest. Truth is not more truth because it is three thousand years
old, nor is it less truth because it is of yesterday. All books which
|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 Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:
or what to do, and lingering here, is death. You must go to him
again, and bring him here.'
'Must I!' cried Barnaby, delighted; 'that's brave, father. That's
what I want to do.'
'But you must bring only him, and none other. And though you wait
at his door a whole day and night, still you must wait, and not
come back without him.'
'Don't you fear that,' he cried gaily. 'He shall come, he shall
'Trim off these gewgaws,' said his father, plucking the scraps of
ribbon and the feathers from his hat, 'and over your own dress wear