|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter:
"What is seven pounds of
butter at 1/3, and a stick of
sealing wax and four
"Send in all the bills again
to everybody `with compliments,'"
Pickles nearly had a fit, he
barked and he barked and
made little rushes.
"Bite him, Pickles! bite
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
the author of all her sister's misery, in presence of a murderer who
killed only the happiness of women. That, perhaps, was the reason why
he was there. Madame de Nucingen had dined at Madame d'Espard's with
her daughter, married a few months earlier to the Comte de Rastignac,
who had begun his political career by occupying the post of under-
secretary of state in the famous ministry of the late de Marsay, the
only real statesman produced by the Revolution of July.
Comte Maxime de Trailles alone knew how many disasters he had caused;
but he had always taken care to shelter himself from blame by
scrupulously obeying the laws of the Man-Code. Though he had
squandered in the course of his life more money than the four galleys
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
sitting there alone, a book on her knee, face down, and her eyes
wistful and with a question in them.
"Sitting and thinking, or just sitting?" he inquired.
"I was thinking."
"Air-castles, eh? Well, be sure you put the right man into them!"
He felt more or less a fool for having said that, for it was
extremely likely that Nina's family was feeling some doubt about
"What I mean is," he added hastily, "don't be a fool and take Wallie
Sayre. Take a man, while you're about it."
"I would, if I could do the taking."
The Breaking Point
|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 Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
This garment protected the back, chest, and throat from cold. These
surcoats were lined with fur, a band of which, wide or narrow as the
case might be, bordered the outer material. Mary Stuart, as she tried
the garment on, looked at herself in a large Venetian mirror to see
the effect behind, thus leaving her mother-in-law an opportunity to
examine the papers, the bulk of which might have excited the young
queen's suspicions had she noticed it.
"Never tell women of the dangers you have run when you have come out
of them safe and sound," she said, turning to show herself to
"Ah! madame, I have your bill, too," he said, looking at her with