|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic:
These were nearest him, and clearest to the vision
as well, at the instant when they reached their highest
forward point. The seats were filled with girls,
some of them quite grown young women, and their curving
upward sweep through the air was disclosing at its climax
a remarkable profusion of white skirts and black stockings.
The sight struck him as indecorous in the extreme, and he
turned his eyes away. They met Celia's; and there was
something latent in their brown depths which prompted him,
after a brief dalliance of interchanging glances, to look
again at the swings.
The Damnation of Theron Ware
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Places of the Heart by H. G. Wells:
think on that scale. Just as a man who has been trained in
history and law grows to think on the scale of the Roman
empire. I don't know what your pocket map of the universe is,
the map, I mean, by which you judge all sorts of other
general ideas. To me this planet is a little ball of oxides
and nickel steel; life a sort of tarnish on its surface. And
we, the minutest particles in that tarnish. Who can
nevertheless, in some unaccountable way, take in the idea of
this universe as one whole, who begin to dream of taking
control of it."
"That is not a bad statement of the scientific point of view.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
"Holy Virgin! what a beautiful altar-cloth it would make for the
parish church! My dear darling monsieur, give it to the church, and
you'll save your soul; if you don't, you'll lose it. Oh, how nice you
look in it! I must call mademoiselle to see you."
"Come, Nanon, if Nanon you are, hold your tongue; let me go to bed.
I'll arrange my things to-morrow. If my dressing-gown pleases you so
much, you shall save your soul. I'm too good a Christian not to give
it to you when I go away, and you can do what you like with it."
Nanon stood rooted to the ground, gazing at Charles and unable to put
faith into his words.
|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 Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
have felt, it is true, more assurance; and your own kindness
encouraged me to rise out of my timidity and depression. To-day, when
I, by frank and loyal conduct, release you from anxiety,--for, if you
chose to be honest, you would acknowledge that you have been thinking
of another husband for Celeste,--we might still remain friends, even
though I renounce a marriage which my delicacy forbids me to pursue.
But you have not chosen to restrain yourself with the limits of social
politeness, of which you have a model beside you in Madame de Godollo,
who, I am persuaded, although she is not at all friendly to me, would
never have approved of your odious behavior. Thank Heaven! I have in
my heart some religious sentiment at least; the Gospel is not to me a