|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:
Grand-Livre at the moment when the funds were at fifty-six francs and
twenty-five centimes. Messieurs de Lenoncourt, de Navarreins, de
Verneuil, de Fontaine, and La Billardiere, to whom he was known, he
said, obtained for him, from the king's privy purse, a pension of
three hundred francs, and sent him, moreover, the cross of Saint-
Louis. Never was it known positively by what means the old chevalier
obtained these two solemn consecrations of his title and merits. But
one thing is certain; the cross of Saint-Louis authorized him to take
the rank of retired colonel in view of his service in the Catholic
armies of the West.
Besides his fiction of an annuity, about which no one at the present
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:
intoxicated enough to neglect the offer of some refreshments.
"He does not seem very dangerous," he added, as they followed
Almayer up the steps of the verandah.
"No, he seems more of a fool than a knave; I have heard of him,"
returned the senior.
They sat around the table. Almayer with shaking hands made gin
cocktails, offered them all round, and drank himself, with every
gulp feeling stronger, steadier, and better able to face all the
difficulties of his position. Ignorant of the fate of the brig
he did not suspect the real object of the officer's visit. He
had a general notion that something must have leaked out about
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rivers to the Sea by Sara Teasdale:
Less than the sea-gulls calling to the sea.
I CAME from the sunny valleys
And sought for the open sea,
For I thought in its gray expanses
My peace would come to me.
I came at last to the ocean
And found it wild and black,
And I cried to the windless valleys,
"Be kind and take me back!"
But the thirsty tide ran inland,
|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 Virginian by Owen Wister:
it because it could never have known a mother.
"Do you expaict it could show a male parent offhand?" inquired a
slow voice behind us. I jumped round, and there was the
"Male parent!" scoffed the prompt Scipio. "Ain't you heard about
"Them? Was there two?"
"Two? The blamed thing was sired by a whole doggone Dutch
"Why, the piebald son of a gun!" responded the Virginian,
sweetly. "I got them steers through all right," he added to me.