|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
my abdication has brought no afterthoughts; I have no regrets like
Charles V., no longing to try the game again like Napoleon. Five days
and nights have passed since I wrote my will; to my mind they might
have been five centuries. Honor, titles, wealth, are for me as though
they had never existed.
Now that the conventional barrier of respect which hedged me round has
fallen, I can open my heart to you, dear boy. Though cased in the
armor of gravity, this heart is full of tenderness and devotion, which
have found no object, and which no woman has divined, not even she
who, from her cradle, has been my destined bride. In this lies the
secret of my political enthusiasm. Spain has taken the place of a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer Abroad by Mark Twain:
bury that cretur; most as much as it would to bury a
steamboat, I reckon.
We landed Jim on top of the head, with an American
flag to protect him, it being a foreign land; then we
sailed off to this and that and t'other distance, to git
what Tom called effects and perspectives and propor-
tions, and Jim he done the best he could, striking all
the different kinds of attitudes and positions he could
study up, but standing on his head and working his
legs the way a frog does was the best. The further we
got away, the littler Jim got, and the grander the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:
live for him, not tomorrow, but when he is an old, faded man, and you an
old, faded woman? Can you forgive him his sins and his weaknesses, when
they hurt you most? If he were to lie a querulous invalid for twenty
years, would you be able to fold him in your arms all that time, and
comfort him, as a mother comforts her little child?" The woman drew her
"Oh, I love him absolutely! I would be glad to die, if only I could once
know that he loved me better than anything in the world!"
The woman stood looking down at her. "Have you never thought of that other
woman; whether she could not perhaps make his life as perfect as you?" she
|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 Heritage of the Desert by Zane Grey:
"I got it full of water and sand. That reminds me I must see about
cleaning it. I never thought of shooting back. Silvermane was running
"Jack, you can see I am in the worst fix of my life," said August Naab.
"My sons have persuaded me that I was pushed off my ranges too easily.
I've come to believe Martin Cole; certainly his prophecy has come true.
Dave brought news from White Sage, and it's almost unbelievable.
Holderness has proclaimed himself or has actually got himself elected
sheriff. He holds office over the Mormons from whom he steals. Scarcely
a day goes by in the village without a killing. The Mormons north of
Lund finally banded together, hanged some rustlers, and drove the others
The Heritage of the Desert