|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:
it's not the temperature for intellectual exertion. At Boston,
you know, you have to pass an examination at the city limits;
and when you come away they give you a kind of degree."
Lord Lambeth stared, blushing a little; and Percy Beaumont
stared a little also--but only with his fine natural complexion--
glancing aside after a moment to see that his companion was not looking
too credulous, for he had heard a great deal of American humor.
"I daresay it is very jolly," said the younger gentleman.
"I daresay it is," said Mr. Westgate. "Only I must impress
upon you that at present--tomorrow morning, at an early hour--
you will be expected at Newport. We have a house there;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
came to be of such a mind, which it will be wholesome for you beyond
most subjects of inquiry to ascertain. And after you have gone on
doing this a little while, you will begin to understand the meaning
of at least one chapter of your Bible, Proverbs xxxi., without need
of any laboured comment, sermon, or meditation.
In these, then (and of course in all minor ways besides, that you
can discover in your own household), you must be to the best of your
strength usefully employed during the greater part of the day, so
that you may be able at the end of it to say, as proudly as any
peasant, that you have not eaten the bread of idleness.
Then, secondly, I said, you are not to be cruel. Perhaps you think
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton:
her eyes screwed upon her brother's face.
"It's just my old-fashioned feeling; dear May is my
ideal," said Mrs. Archer.
"Ah," said her son, "they're not alike."
Archer had left St. Augustine charged with many
messages for old Mrs. Mingott; and a day or two after his
return to town he called on her.
The old lady received him with unusual warmth; she
was grateful to him for persuading the Countess Olenska
to give up the idea of a divorce; and when he told her
that he had deserted the office without leave, and rushed
|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 Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas:
"Under any circumstances," he resumed, "you are welcome, my
dear friend; you will help me to recover my spirits;
to-morrow we will hunt the hare on my plain, which is a
superb tract of land, or pursue the deer in my woods, which
are magnificent. I have four harriers which are considered
the swiftest in the county, and a pack of hounds which are
unequalled for twenty leagues around."
And Porthos heaved another sigh.
"But, first," interposed D'Artagnan, "you must present me to
Madame du Vallon."
A third sigh from Porthos.
Twenty Years After