|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton:
"You know she's deserted me?" she began at once;
and without waiting for his reply: "Oh, don't ask me
why! She gave so many reasons that I've forgotten
them all. My private belief is that she couldn't face the
boredom. At any rate that's what Augusta and my
daughters-in-law think. And I don't know that I
altogether blame her. Olenski's a finished scoundrel; but
life with him must have been a good deal gayer than it
is in Fifth Avenue. Not that the family would admit
that: they think Fifth Avenue is Heaven with the rue de
la Paix thrown in. And poor Ellen, of course, has no
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
finally, after the fatal day of Saint-Quentin, Catherine obtained
considerable sums of money from the people of Paris, which she sent to
Compiegne, where the king then was.
In politics, Catherine made immense efforts to obtain a little
influence. She was clever enough to bring the Connetable de
Montmorency, all-powerful under Henri II., to her interests. We all
know the terrible answer that the king made, on being harassed by
Montmorency in her favor. This answer was the result of an attempt by
Catherine to give the king good advice, in the few moments she was
ever alone with him, when she explained the Florentine policy of
pitting the grandees of the kingdom one against another and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas:
nice little opportunity present itself to throw some
handfuls of dirt, or a few stones, at this Cornelius de
Witt, who not only conferred the dignity of Stadtholder on
the Prince of Orange merely vi coactus, but who also
intended to have him assassinated?"
"Besides which," the fierce enemies of France chimed in, "if
the work were done well and bravely at the Hague, Cornelius
would certainly not be allowed to go into exile, where he
will renew his intrigues with France, and live with his big
scoundrel of a brother, John, on the gold of the Marquis de
The Black Tulip
|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 The White Moll by Frank L. Packard:
and retraced her steps to the washstand that stood in the shadows
against the wall on the opposite side from the bed, and near the far
end of the garret. Here she found the short stub of a candle that
was stuck in the mouth of a gin bottle, and matches lying beside it.
She lighted the candle, and turned inquiringly to Gypsy Nan.
The woman pointed to the end of the garret where the roof sloped
sharply down until, at the wall itself, it was scarcely four feet
above the floor.
"Go down there. Right to the wall - in the center," instructed
Gypsy Nan weakly. And then, as Rhoda Gray obeyed: "Now push up on
that wide board in the ceiling."