|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Glasses by Henry James:
during the few moments she stood talking with our friend I made
more discoveries. The figure from the neck down was meagre, the
stature insignificant, but the desire to please towered high, as
well as the air of infallibly knowing how and of never, never
missing it. This was a little person whom I would have made a high
bid for a good chance to paint. The head, the features, the
colour, the whole facial oval and radiance had a wonderful purity;
the deep grey eyes--the most agreeable, I thought, that I had ever
seen--brushed with a kind of winglike grace every object they
encountered. Their possessor was just back from Boulogne, where
she had spent a week with dear Mrs. Floyd-Taylor: this accounted
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes:
was afraid some minds or souls would be a little crowded, if they
took in the Rocky Mountains or the Atlantic.
Have you ever read the little book called "The Stars and the
Earth?" - said I. - Have you seen the Declaration of Independence
photographed in a surface that a fly's foot would cover? The forms
or conditions of Time and Space, as Kant will tell you, are nothing
in themselves, - only our way of looking at things. You are right,
I think, however, in recognizing the category of Space as being
quite as applicable to minds as to the outer world. Every man of
reflection is vaguely conscious of an imperfectly-defined circle
which is drawn about his intellect. He has a perfectly clear sense
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:
"Who are like passengers?" asked Powell gruffly.
"Why, these two, sir."
CHAPTER THREE--DEVOTED SERVANTS--AND THE LIGHT OF A FLARE
Young Powell thought to himself: "The men, too, are noticing it."
Indeed, the captain's behaviour to his wife and to his wife's father
was noticeable enough. It was as if they had been a pair of not
very congenial passengers. But perhaps it was not always like that.
The captain might have been put out by something.
When the aggrieved Franklin came on deck Mr. Powell made a remark to
that effect. For his curiosity was aroused.
The mate grumbled "Seems to you? . . . Putout? . . . eh?" He
|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 Melmoth Reconciled by Honore de Balzac:
peevish woman on earth. Luckily they had no children. The fair
complexion (maintained by a Spartan regimen), the fresh, bright color
in her face, which spoke of an engaging modesty, became overspread
with blotches and pimples; her figure, which had seemed so straight,
grew crooked, the angel became a suspicious and shrewish creature who
drove Castanier frantic. Then the fortune took to itself wings. At
length the dragoon, no longer recognizing the woman whom he had
wedded, left her to live on a little property at Strasbourg, until the
time when it should please God to remove her to adorn Paradise. She
was one of those virtuous women who, for want of other occupation,
would weary the life out of an angel with complainings, who pray till