|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:
the pleasant upland on the west. Above the town the hills close
in, cushioned with deep oak woods, through which juts here and
there a crag of fern-fringed slate; below they lower, and open more
and more in softly rounded knolls, and fertile squares of red and
green, till they sink into the wide expanse of hazy flats, rich
salt-marshes, and rolling sand-hills, where Torridge joins her
sister Taw, and both together flow quietly toward the broad surges
of the bar, and the everlasting thunder of the long Atlantic swell.
Pleasantly the old town stands there, beneath its soft Italian sky,
fanned day and night by the fresh ocean breeze, which forbids alike
the keen winter frosts, and the fierce thunder heats of the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare:
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love:
Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me.
My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is;
Then, thou fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,
Exhale this vapour vow; in thee it is:
If broken, then it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To break an oath, to win a paradise?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Country Doctor by Honore de Balzac:
concerning which he gained some information from his neighbors.
A man, however, who as a private soldier had possessed sufficient
force of character to learn to read, write, and cipher, could clearly
understand that as a captain he ought to continue his education. So
from this time forth he read new books and romances with avidity, in
this way gaining a half-knowledge, of which he made a very fair use.
He went so far in his gratitude to his teachers as to undertake the
defence of Pigault-Lebrun, remarking that in his opinion he was
instructive and not seldom profound.
This officer, whose acquired practical wisdom did not allow him to
make any journey in vain, had just come from Grenoble, and was on his
|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 Message by Honore de Balzac:
no need to tell you how the next day went. I spent several hours
of it with the Juliette whom my poor comrade had so praised to
me. In her lightest words, her gestures, in all that she did and
said, I saw proofs of the nobleness of soul, the delicacy of
feeling which made her what she was, one of those beloved,
loving, and self-sacrificing natures so rarely found upon this
In the evening the Comte de Montpersan came himself as far as
Moulins with me. There he spoke with a kind of embarrassment:
"Monsieur, if it is not abusing your good-nature, and acting very
inconsiderately towards a stranger to whom we are already under