|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Mother by Owen Wister:
But the other ladies gave no sign of assenting to Richard's proposition.
"In those days," said he, "I was what in the curt parlance of the street
is termed a six-hundred-dollar clerk. And though my ears had grown
accustomed to this appellation, I never came to feel that it completely
described me. In passing Tiffany's window twice each day (for my habit
was to walk to and from Nassau Street) I remember that seeing a
thousand-dollar clock exposed for sale caused me annoyance. Of course my
salary as a clerk brought me into no unfavourable comparison with the
clock; and I doubt if I could make you understand my sometimes feeling
when I passed Tiffany's window that I should like to smash the clock."
"I met Ethel frequently in society, dancing with her, and sitting next
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Red Seal by Natalie Sumner Lincoln:
"Seems to me, Margaret, you and father are getting mighty chummy
The sudden darkness into which Barbara's impatient fingers, pressing
against the electric light buttons, plunged the library and its
occupants, prevented her seeing the curious glance which Mrs.
Brewster shot at her. Helen, who had listened to their chatter with
growing impatience, looked back over her shoulder.
"Hurry, Barbara, and come upstairs. Now, Margaret," and she piloted
the widow along the hall toward the staircase without giving her an
opportunity to answer Barbara's last remark. Barbara, pausing only
long enough to pull back the portieres of the hall door and arrange
The Red Seal
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
she scarcely opened her mouth, but her rent-roll of forty thousand
livres spoke quite sufficiently for her. Mme. de Nueil, with a
mother's sincere affection, tried to entangle her son in virtuous
courses. She called his attention to the fact that it was a flattering
distinction to be preferred by Mlle. de la Rodiere, who had refused so
many great matches; it was quite time, she urged, that he should think
of his future, such a good opportunity might not repeat itself, some
day he would have eighty thousand livres of income from land; money
made everything bearable; if Mme. de Beauseant loved him for his own
sake, she ought to be the first to urge him to marry. In short, the
well-intentioned mother forgot no arguments which the feminine
|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 Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:
invested her wages and perquisites. Hence, earning about ten louis a
year, she probably had by this time, including compound interest and
her little inheritance, not less than ten thousand francs.
In Jerome's eyes ten thousand francs could alter the laws of optics;
he saw in Mariette a neat figure; he did not perceive the pits and
seams which virulent smallpox had left on her flat, parched face; to
him the crooked mouth was straight; and ever since Savaron, by taking
him into his service, had brought him so near to the Wattevilles'
house, he had laid siege systematically to the maid, who was as prim
and sanctimonious as her mistress, and who, like every ugly old maid,
was far more exacting than the handsomest.