|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"The other is of more importance," continued the Writer to the
Signet. "It regards your marriage. My client, taking a deep
interest in your welfare, desires to advise you absolutely in the
choice of a wife. Absolutely, you understand," he repeated.
"Let us be more explicit, if you please," returned Francis. "Am I
to marry any one, maid or widow, black or white, whom this
invisible person chooses to propose?"
"I was to assure you that suitability of age and position should be
a principle with your benefactor," replied the lawyer. "As to
race, I confess the difficulty had not occurred to me, and I failed
to inquire; but if you like I will make a note of it at once, and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
was but so much the more vigorous because they had never disputed
about it nor analyzed it. Such a nature is a virgin soil, conscience
has not been tampered with, feeling is deep and strong; repentance,
trouble, love, and work have developed, purified, concentrated, and
increased their force of will a hundred times, the will--the one thing
in man that resembles what learned doctors call the Soul.
The boat, guided by the well-nigh miraculous skill of the steersman,
came almost within sight of Ostend, when, not fifty paces from the
shore, she was suddenly struck by a heavy sea and capsized. The
stranger with the light about his head spoke to this little world of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Young Forester by Zane Grey:
such a struggle. Every instant I made sure the tackle would be wrecked.
Then, just at the breaking-point, the fish would turn. At last he began to
tire. I felt that he was rising to the surface, and I put on more strain.
Soon I saw him; then he turned, flashing like a gold bar. I led my captive
to the outlet of the spring, where I reached down and got my fingers in his
gills. With that I lifted him. Dick whooped when I held up the fish; as for
me, I was speechless. The trout was almost two feet long, broad and heavy,
with shiny sides flecked with color.
Herky-Jerky celebrated my luck with a generous outburst of enthusiasm,
whereupon his comrades reminded him of his offer to swallow my fishing
The Young Forester
|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 An International Episode by Henry James:
man it was possible to meet; he was beautifully dressed--"in
the English style"--and he knew an immense deal about London.
He had been at Newport during the previous summer, at the time of our
young Englishmen's visit, and he took extreme pleasure in the society
of Bessie Alden, whom he always addressed as "Miss Bessie."
She immediately arranged with him, in the presence of her sister,
that he should conduct her to the scene of Anne Boleyn's execution.
"You may do as you please," said Mrs. Westgate.
"Only--if you desire the information--it is not the custom
here for young ladies to knock about London with young men."
"Miss Bessie has waltzed with me so often," observed Willie Woodley;