|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:
century, he installed a chaplain in his home until 1801 (in spite of
the risk he ran from the revolutionary decrees), so that he might not
thwart the Spanish fanaticism which his wife had sucked in with her
mother's milk: later, when public worship was restored in France, he
accompanied her to mass every Sunday. His passion never ceased to be
that of a lover. The protecting power, which women like so much, was
never exercised by this husband, lest to that wife it might seem pity.
He treated her with exquisite flattery as an equal, and sometimes
mutinied against her, as men will, as though to brave the supremacy of
a pretty woman. His lips wore a smile of happiness, his speech was
ever tender; he loved his Josephine for herself and for himself, with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling:
speech and a hard language. We Jews are always looking
for the Prince and the Lawgiver to come. Why not? My
people in the town (we were very few) set me apart as a
child of the prophecy - the Chosen of the Chosen. We
Jews dream so many dreams. You would never guess it to
see us slink about the rubbish-heaps in our quarter; but at
the day's end - doors shut, candles lit - aha! then we
became the Chosen again.'
He paced back and forth through the wood as he
talked. The rattle of the shot-guns never ceased, and the
dogs whimpered a little and lay flat on the leaves.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
be your wife is, for me, to be as happy as I can be on earth."
"Because you delight in sacrifice."
"Sacrifice! What do I sacrifice? Famine for food, expectation for
content. To be privileged to put my arms round what I value--to
press my lips to what I love--to repose on what I trust: is that to
make a sacrifice? If so, then certainly I delight in sacrifice."
"And to bear with my infirmities, Jane: to overlook my
"Which are none, sir, to me. I love you better now, when I can
really be useful to you, than I did in your state of proud
independence, when you disdained every part but that of the giver
|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 Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
the boot of the conveyance, Chichikov found himself bowling over
softer ground. On the town receding into the distance, the sides of
the road began to be varied with the usual hillocks, fir trees, clumps
of young pine, trees with old, scarred trunks, bushes of wild juniper,
and so forth, Presently there came into view also strings of country
villas which, with their carved supports and grey roofs (the latter
looking like pendent, embroidered tablecloths), resembled, rather,
bundles of old faggots. Likewise the customary peasants, dressed in
sheepskin jackets, could be seen yawning on benches before their huts,
while their womenfolk, fat of feature and swathed of bosom, gazed out
of upper windows, and the windows below displayed, here a peering