|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:
the present day I can't make out why I did so; and yet if I hadn't--
my dear Harry, if I hadn't--I should have missed the greatest
romance of my life. I see you are laughing. It is horrid of
"I am not laughing, Dorian; at least I am not laughing at you.
But you should not say the greatest romance of your life.
You should say the first romance of your life. You will
always be loved, and you will always be in love with love.
A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do.
That is the one use of the idle classes of a country.
Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:
called, in southern parlance, a "genteel flogging," without any
very great outlay of strength or skill. I watched, with
palpitating interest, the course of the preliminary struggle, and
was saddened by every new advantage gained over her by the
ruffian. There were times when she seemed likely to get the
better of the brute, but he finally overpowered her, and
succeeded in getting his rope around her arms, and in firmly
tying her to the tree, at which he had been aiming. This done,
and Nelly was at the mercy of his merciless lash; and now, what
followed, I have no heart to describe. The cowardly creature
made good his every threat; and wielded the lash with all the hot
My Bondage and My Freedom
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin by Robert Louis Stevenson:
must (in a favourite phrase of his) be 'either very wise or very
vain,' to break with any general consent in ethics. I remember
taking his advice upon some point of conduct. 'Now,' he said, 'how
do you suppose Christ would have advised you?' and when I had
answered that he would not have counselled me anything unkind or
cowardly, 'No,' he said, with one of his shrewd strokes at the
weakness of his hearer, 'nor anything amusing.' Later in life, he
made less certain in the field of ethics. 'The old story of the
knowledge of good and evil is a very true one,' I find him writing;
only (he goes on) 'the effect of the original dose is much worn
out, leaving Adam's descendants with the knowledge that there is
|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 Gambara by Honore de Balzac:
he spends all his wife can make on instruments which he carves, and
lengthens, and shortens, and sets up and takes to pieces again till
they produce sounds that will scare a cat; then he is happy. And yet
you will find him the mildest, the gentlest of men. And, he is not
idle; he is always at it. What is to be said? He is crazy and does not
know his business. I have seen him, monsieur, filing and forging his
instruments and eating black bread with an appetite that I envied him
--I, who have the best table in Paris.
"Yes, Excellenza, in a quarter of an hour you shall know the man I am.
I have introduced certain refinements into Italian cookery that will
amaze you! Excellenza, I am a Neapolitan--that is to say, a born cook.