|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Complete Poems of Longfellow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
The pen became a clarion, and his school
Flamed like a beacon in the midnight air.
What though Boccaccio, in his reckless way,
Mocking the lazy brotherhood, deplores
The illuminated manuscripts, that lay
Torn and neglected on the dusty floors?
Boccaccio was a novelist, a child
Of fancy and of fiction at the best!
This the urbane librarian said, and smiled
Incredulous, as at some idle jest.
Upon such themes as these, with one young friar
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
drew up an instrument, in which the Count acknowledged the receipt of
eighty-five thousand francs, interest included, in consideration of
which Gobseck undertook to return the diamonds to the Count.
" 'What waste!' exclaimed he as he put his signature to the agreement.
'How is it possible to bridge such a gulf?'
" 'Have you many children, sir?' Gobseck asked gravely.
"The Count winced at the question; it was as if the old money-lender,
like an experienced physician, had put his finger at once on the sore
spot. The Comtesse's husband did not reply.
" 'Well,' said Gobseck, taking the pained silence for answer, 'I know
your story by heart. The woman is a fiend, but perhaps you love her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:
continually bringing neighboring peaks into view and lofty
prominence which had been hidden behind lower peaks before;
so by and by, while standing before a group of these giants,
we looked around for the chalet again; there it was,
away down below us, apparently on an inconspicuous ridge
in the valley! It was as far below us, now, as it had been
above us when we were beginning the ascent.
After a while the path led us along a railed precipice,
and we looked over--far beneath us was the snug parlor again,
the little Gasternthal, with its water jets spouting
from the face of its rock walls. We could have dropped
|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 Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
away abruptly, as if baffled, and left the counting-house; he
returned to it but twice in the course of that day; each time he
mixed and swallowed a glass of brandy-and-water, the materials
for making which he extracted from a cupboard on one side of the
fireplace; having glanced at my translations--he could read both
French and German--he went out again in silence.
I SERVED Edward as his second clerk faithfully, punctually,
diligently. What was given me to do I had the power and the
determination to do well. Mr. Crimsworth watched sharply for
defects, but found none; he set Timothy Steighton, his favourite