|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas:
moderate and reasonable we are!"
"Come, now, what are your conditions?"
"Rest yourself first, my lord, and we -- we will reflect."
"I do not need rest, gentlemen; I need to know whether I am
among enemies or friends."
"Friends, my lord! friends!"
"Well, then, tell me at once what you want, that I may see
if any arrangement be possible. Speak, Comte de la Fere!"
"My lord," replied Athos, "for myself I have nothing to
demand. For France, were I to specify my wishes, I should
have too much. I beg you to excuse me and propose to the
Twenty Years After
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:
we should have eaten up a Posey County family, fruit, furniture, and all,
but that they happened to be fiddling down below, and we just caught
the sound of the music in time to sheer off, doing no serious damage,
unfortunately, but coming so near it that we had good hopes for a moment.
These people brought up their lantern, then, of course; and as we backed
and filled to get away, the precious family stood in the light of it--
both sexes and various ages--and cursed us till everything turned blue.
Once a coalboatman sent a bullet through our pilot-house, when we borrowed a
steering oar of him in a very narrow place.
The River Rises
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Pellucidar by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
I could not see below the breast of my bearskin coat.
I seemed to be floating in a sea of vapor.
To go forward over a dangerous glacier under such
conditions was little short of madness; but I could not
have stopped going had I known positively that death
lay two paces before my nose. In the first place, it was
too cold to stop, and in the second, I should have gone
mad but for the excitement of the perils that beset each
For some time the ground had been rougher and
steeper, until I had been forced to scale a considerable
|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 Ferragus by Honore de Balzac:
the state of those monsters we see preserved in museums, floating in
alchohol. Jules fancied that he saw above that face the terrible head
of Ferragus, and his own anger was silenced by such a vengeance. The
husband found pity in his heart for the vacant wreck of what was once
"The duel has taken place," said the vidame.
"But he has killed many," answered Jules, sorrowfully.
"And many dear ones," added the old man. "His grandmother is dying;
and I shall follow her soon into the grave."
On the morrow of this day, Madame Jules grew worse from hour to hour.
She used a moment's strength to take a letter from beneath her pillow,