|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy:
solely with the idea of having her in charge, he did not notice
much with outward eye, neither observing how she was dressed, nor
the effect of the picture they together composed in the landscape.
Their conversation was in briefest phrase for some time, Grace
being somewhat disconcerted, through not having understood till
they were about to start that Giles was to be her sole conductor
in place of her father. When they were in the open country he
"Don't Brownley's farm-buildings look strange to you, now they
have been moved bodily from the hollow where the old ones stood to
the top of the hill?"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
an electric shock, and the people half rose as if to seek a
glimpse of the person who had made that exchange. Tom was
growing limp; the life seemed oozing out of him. Wilson resumed:
"A was put into B's cradle in the nursery; B was transferred
to the kitchen and became a Negro and a slave [Sensation--
confusion of angry ejaculations]--but within a quarter of an hour
he will stand before you white and free! [Burst of applause,
checked by the officers.] From seven months onward until now,
A has still been a usurper, and in my finger record he bears B's name.
Here is his pantograph at the age of twelve.
Compare it with the assassin's signature upon the knife handle.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:
that could have happened to me: for that phrase would savour of
too great bitterness towards myself. I would sooner say, or hear
it said of me, that I was so typical a child of my age, that in my
perversity, and for that perversity's sake, I turned the good
things of my life to evil, and the evil things of my life to good.
What is said, however, by myself or by others, matters little. The
important thing, the thing that lies before me, the thing that I
have to do, if the brief remainder of my days is not to be maimed,
marred, and incomplete, is to absorb into my nature all that has
been done to me, to make it part of me, to accept it without
complaint, fear, or reluctance. The supreme vice is shallowness.
|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 Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
thus gaining time, she hoped to come safe and sound to the end of the
national troubles. At this period, the royalists in the interior of
France expected day by day that the Revolution would be ended on the
morrow. This conviction was the ruin of very many of them.
In spite of these difficulties, the countess had maintained her
independence very cleverly until the day when, by an inexplicable
imprudence, she closed her doors to her usual evening visitors. Madame
de Dey inspired so genuine and deep an interest, that the persons who
called upon her that evening expressed extreme anxiety on being told
that she was unable to receive them. Then, with that frank curiosity
which appears in provincial manners, they inquired what misfortune,