|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
passion, and the luxuries it allowed her made him, even then,
dimly aware that she had the secret of an inexhaustible alchemy.
Their relations remained thus negatively tender till she suddenly
wrote him of her decision to go abroad to live. Her father had
died, she had no near ties in Hillbridge, and London offered more
scope than New York to her expanding personality. She was already
famous and her laurels were yet unharvested.
For a moment the news roused Glennard to a jealous sense of lost
opportunities. He wanted, at any rate, to reassert his power
before she made the final effort of escape. They had not met for
over a year, but of course he could not let her sail without
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:
resist calling him in to consult. But by sheer self-
coercion he refrained. No, he thought, Farfrae would be
suggesting such improvements in his damned luminous way that
in spite of himself he, Henchard, would sink to the position
of second fiddle, and only scrape harmonies to his manager's
Everybody applauded the Mayor's proposed entertainment,
especially when it became known that he meant to pay for it
Close to the town was an elevated green spot surrounded by
an ancient square earthwork--earthworks square and not
The Mayor of Casterbridge
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf:
feathers erect between their ears, the Ambroses, Mr. Pepper,
and Rachel rattled out of the harbour. The day increased in heat
as they drove up the hill. The road passed through the town,
where men seemed to be beating brass and crying "Water," where
the passage was blocked by mules and cleared by whips and curses,
where the women walked barefoot, their heads balancing baskets,
and cripples hastily displayed mutilated members; it issued among
steep green fields, not so green but that the earth showed through.
Great trees now shaded all but the centre of the road, and a
mountain stream, so shallow and so swift that it plaited itself
into strands as it ran, raced along the edge. Higher they went,
|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 Economist by Xenophon:
person so qualified to be regarded as fit at once to be your bailiff?
or is there aught else which he must learn in order to play the part
of an efficient bailiff?
 Breit. cf. "Pol. Lac." xv. 8. Holden cf. Plat. "Rep." 600 C.
Most certainly there is (he answered): it still remains for him to
learn particulars--to know, that is, what things he has to do, and
when and how to do them; or else, if ignorant of these details, the
profit of this bailiff in the abstract may prove no greater than the
doctor's who pays a most precise attention to a sick man, visiting him
late and early, but what will serve to ease his patient's pains he