|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton:
solicitude for the welfare of the clock? And what charms but
Evelina's could have induced him to repeat his visit? Grief held
up its torch to the frail fabric of Ann Eliza's illusions, and with
a firm heart she watched them shrivel into ashes; then, rising from
her knees full of the chill joy of renunciation, she laid a kiss on
the crimping pins of the sleeping Evelina and crept under the
bedspread at her side.
During the months that followed, Mr. Ramy visited the sisters
with increasing frequency. It became his habit to call on them
every Sunday evening, and occasionally during the week he would
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by Karl Marx:
At the inauguration of his presidency, Bonaparte forthwith framed a
ministry out of the party of Order, at whose head he placed Odillon
Barrot, be it noted, the old leader of the liberal wing of the
parliamentary bourgeoisie. Mr. Barrot had finally hunted down a seat in
the ministry, the spook of which had been pursuing him since 1830; and
what is more, he had the chairmanship in this ministry, although not, as
he had imagined under Louis Philippe, the promoted leader of the
parliamentary opposition, but with the commission to kill a parliament,
and, moreover, as an ally of all his arch enemies, the Jesuits and the
Legitimists. Finally he leads the bride home, but only after she has
been prostituted. As to Bonaparte, he seemed to eclipse himself
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton:
left thus much of it as you see, and was fishing for more; when we
came we found her just at it: but we were here very early, we were here
an hour before sunrise, and have given her no rest since we came; sure
she will hardly escape all these dogs and men. I am to have the skin if
we kill her.
Venator. Why, Sir, what is the skin worth?
Huntsman. It is worth ten shillings to make gloves; the gloves of an
Otter are the best fortification for your hands that can be thought on
against wet weather.
Piscator. I pray, honest Huntsman, let me ask you a pleasant question:
do you hunt a beast or a fish?
|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 Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
kept for him. He never gave five minutes more time to the shop in the
rue Saint Antoine than justly belonged to it, and at half-past eight
precisely he reached the Cafe David, where he breakfasted and remained
till eleven. There he listened to political discussions, his arms
crossed on his cane, his chin in his right hand, never saying a word.
The dame du comptoir, the only woman to whom he ever spoke with
pleasure, was the sole confidant of the little events of his life, for
his seat was close to her counter. He played dominoes, the only game
he was capable of understanding. When his partners did not happen to
be present, he usually went to sleep with his back against the
wainscot, holding a newspaper in his hand, the wooden file resting on