|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
that those who call out are hypocrites, desperately vexed because they
have no good ideas of their own, and neither power to advertise nor
skill to exploit a business. You will not have long to wait for proof.
In a very short time you will see the aristocracy, the court, and
public men descend into speculation in serried columns; you will see
that their claws are longer, their morality more crooked than ours,
while they have not our good points. What a head a man must have if he
has to found a business in times when the shareholder is as covetous
and keen as the inventor! What a great magnetizer must he be that can
create a Claparon and hit upon expedients never tried before! Do you
know the moral of it all? Our age is no better than we are; we live in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sanitary and Social Lectures by Charles Kingsley:
only too often."
"But will they not waste it then?"
"So far from it, wherever the water has been laid on at high
pressure, the waste, which is terrible now--some say that in
London one-third of the water is wasted--begins to lessen; and
both water and expense are saved. If you will only think, you
will see one reason why. If a woman leaves a high-pressure tap
running, she will flood her place and her neighbour's too. She
will be like the magician's servant, who called up the demon to
draw water for him; and so he did: but when he had begun he would
not stop, and if the magician had not come home, man and house
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Long Odds by H. Rider Haggard:
and marched for the kloof. Tom, the driver, begged and implored me not
to go, but though as a general rule I never pretend to be very brave
(which I am not), I was determined that I would either kill those lions
or they should kill me. So I told Tom that he need not come unless he
liked, but I was going; and being a plucky fellow, a Swazi by birth, he
shrugged his shoulders, muttered that I was mad or bewitched, and
followed doggedly in my tracks.
"We soon reached the kloof, which was about three hundred yards in
length and but sparsely wooded, and then the real fun began. There
might be a lion behind every bush--there certainly were four lions
somewhere; the delicate question was, where. I peeped and poked and
|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 Chance by Joseph Conrad:
Generally speaking, an unselfish action is a moral action. I'll
tell you what. I'll go with you."
He turned round and stared at me with surprise and suspicion. "You
would go with me?" he repeated.
"You don't understand," I said, amused at the incredulous disgust of
his tone. "I must run up to town, to-morrow morning. Let us go
together. You have a set of travelling chessmen."
His physiognomy, contracted by a variety of emotions, relaxed to a
certain extent at the idea of a game. I told him that as I had
business at the Docks he should have my company to the very ship.
"We shall beguile the way to the wilds of the East by improving