|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Black Dwarf by Walter Scott:
for the faults of the father it is no time to rake them up.--What
CAN be done? Time presses--I know but one remedy--with four-and-
twenty hours I might find many--Miss Vere, you must implore the
protection of the only human being who has it in his power to
control the course of events which threatens to hurry you before
"And what human being," answered Miss Vere, "has such power?"
"Start not when I name him," said Ratcliffe, coming near her, and
speaking in a low but distinct voice. "It is he who is called
Elshender the Recluse of Mucklestane-Moor."
"You are mad, Mr. Ratcliffe, or you mean to insult my misery by
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Symposium by Plato:
voluntary, and that there is to be no compulsion, I move, in the next
place, that the flute-girl, who has just made her appearance, be told to go
away and play to herself, or, if she likes, to the women who are within
(compare Prot.). To-day let us have conversation instead; and, if you will
allow me, I will tell you what sort of conversation. This proposal having
been accepted, Eryximachus proceeded as follows:--
I will begin, he said, after the manner of Melanippe in Euripides,
'Not mine the word'
which I am about to speak, but that of Phaedrus. For often he says to me
in an indignant tone:--'What a strange thing it is, Eryximachus, that,
whereas other gods have poems and hymns made in their honour, the great and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Foolish Virgin by Thomas Dixon:
He grinned sheepishly.
"You couldn't guess now, could you?"
"You haven't been drinking!" she gasped.
"No," he drawled lazily, "I wouldn't say drinking--
I just took one big swallow last night--makes you sleep
good when you're tired. Good medicine! I always carry
a little with me."
A sickening wave went over her. Not that she felt
that he was going to be a drunkard. But the utter
indifference with which he made the announcement was a
painful revelation of the fact that her opinion on such
|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:
chair, put his head in his hands and his feet on the andirons, drying
his boots until he burned them. It was an awful moment,--one of those
moments in human life when the character is moulded, and the future
conduct of the best of men depends on the good or evil fortune of his
first action. Providence or fatality?--choose which you will.
This young man belonged to a good family, whose nobility was not very
ancient; but there are so few really old families in these days, that
all men of rank are ancient without dispute. His grandfather had
bought the office of counsellor to the Parliament of Paris, where he
afterwards became president. His sons, each provided with a handsome
fortune, entered the army, and through their marriages became attached