|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:
some hot toast, please." Her tone betrayed a polite satiety of
the topic under discussion. Glennard turned to the bell, but Mrs.
Armiger pursued him with her lovely amazement.
"Why, the "Aubyn Letters"--didn't you know about it? The girl
read them so beautifully that it was quite horrible--I should have
fainted if there'd been a man near enough to carry me out."
Hartly's glee redoubled, and Dresham said, jovially, "How like you
women to raise a shriek over the book and then do all you can to
encourage the blatant publicity of the readings!"
Mrs. Armiger met him more than half-way on a torrent of self-
accusal. "It WAS horrid; it was disgraceful. I told your wife we
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Van De Grift Stevenson:
door of the drawing-room, which was brilliantly lit by
several lamps. It was a great apartment; looking on the
square with three tall windows, and joined by a pair of ample
folding-doors to the next room; elegant in proportion,
papered in sea-green, furnished in velvet of a delicate blue,
and adorned with a majestic mantelpiece of variously tinted
marbles. Such was the room that Somerset remembered; that
which he now beheld was changed in almost every feature: the
furniture covered with a figured chintz; the walls hung with
a rhubarb-coloured paper, and diversified by the curtained
recesses for no less than seven windows. It seemed to
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Talisman by Walter Scott:
nothing," answered Sir Kenneth boldly; "but were I now stretched
on the rack, I would tell thee that what I have said is much to
thine own conscience and thine own fame. I tell thee, Sir King,
that if thou dost but in thought entertain the purpose of wedding
thy kinswoman, the Lady Edith--"
"Name her not--and for an instant think not of her," said the
King, again straining the curtal-axe in his gripe, until the
muscles started above his brawny arm, like cordage formed by the
ivy around the limb of an oak.
"Not name--not think of her!" answered Sir Kenneth, his spirits,
stunned as they were by self-depression, beginning to recover
|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 Essays & Lectures by Oscar Wilde:
shield; horse and man one labyrinth of quaint colour and gleaming
light - the purple, and silver, and scarlet fringes flowing over
the strong limbs and clashing mall, like sea-waves over rocks at
sunset. Opening on each side from the river were gardens, courts,
and cloisters; long successions of white pillars among wreaths of
vine; leaping of fountains through buds of pomegranate and orange:
and still along the garden-paths, and under and through the crimson
of the pomegranate shadows, moving slowly, groups of the fairest
women that Italy ever saw - fairest, because purest and
thoughtfullest; trained in all high knowledge, as in all courteous
art - in dance, in song, in sweet wit, in lofty learning, in