|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:
alive in her quietness, that perhaps she did not know herself then
what sort of tryst she was coming down to keep.
She smiled faintly, almost awkwardly as if she were totally unused
to smiling, at my cheap jocularity. Then she said with that forced
precision, a sort of conscious primness:
"I didn't want him to know."
I approved heartily. Quite right. Much better. Let him ever
remain under his misapprehension which was so much more flattering
I tried to keep it in the tone of comedy; but she was, I believe,
too simple to understand my intention. She went on, looking down.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe:
felt so drefful, poor soul!"
"I say Tom!" said St. Clare's voice, coming in the door at
Tom and Eva both started.
"What's here?" said St. Clare, coming up and looking at
"O, it's Tom's letter. I'm helping him to write it," said
Eva; "isn't it nice?"
"I wouldn't discourage either of you," said St. Clare,
"but I rather think, Tom, you'd better get me to write your letter
for you. I'll do it, when I come home from my ride."
Uncle Tom's Cabin
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad:
"I impressed upon her the necessity of the
greatest care, and then had to go. There was a
good deal of sickness that winter. 'Oh, I hope he
won't talk!' she exclaimed softly just as I was go-
"I don't know how it is I did not see--but I
didn't. And yet, turning in my trap, I saw her
lingering before the door, very still, and as if med-
itating a flight up the miry road.
"Towards the night his fever increased.
"He tossed, moaned, and now and then muttered
|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 Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
every carving, the least detail of the sculpture was dipped in silver.
The sunlight kindled fires in the stained windows, their rich colors
sent out glowing sparks of light. The shafts began to tremble, the
capitals were gently shaken. A light shudder as of delight ran through
the building, the stones were loosened in their setting, the wall-
spaces swayed with graceful caution. Here and there a ponderous pier
moved as solemnly as a dowager when she condescends to complete a
quadrille at the close of a ball. A few slender and graceful columns,
their heads adorned with wreaths of trefoil, began to laugh and dance
here and there. Some of the pointed arches dashed at the tall lancet
windows, who, like ladies of the Middle Ages, wore the armorial