|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane:
sell me no more stuff! T'hell wid yeh, Johnnie Murckre! 'Disturbance'?
Disturbance be damned! T'hell wid yeh, Johnnie--"
The door received a kick of exasperation from within and the
woman lurched heavily out on the sidewalk.
The gamins in the half-circle became violently agitated.
They began to dance about and hoot and yell and jeer.
Wide dirty grins spread over each face.
The woman made a furious dash at a particularly outrageous
cluster of little boys. They laughed delightedly and scampered off
a short distance, calling out over their shoulders to her. She
stood tottering on the curb-stone and thundered at them.
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
"What ails you, my Didine?" asked Lousteau.
"I am wondering how a woman succeeds in conquering the world?"
"There are two ways. One is by being Madame de Stael, the other is by
having two hundred thousand francs a year."
"Society," said she, "asserts its hold on us by appealing to our
vanity, our love of appearances.--Pooh! We will be philosophers!"
That evening was the last gleam of the delusive well-being in which
Madame de la Baudraye had lived since coming to Paris. Three days
later she observed a cloud on Lousteau's brow as he walked round the
little garden-plot smoking a cigar. This woman, who had acquired from
her husband the habit and the pleasure of never owing anybody a sou,
The Muse of the Department
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne:
answered the other, with a wink.
"He's a wag," said the Jew to the Persian.
"Or a spy," replied the other, lowering his voice. "We
had better take care, and not speak more than necessary.
The police are not over-particular in these times, and you
never can know with whom you are traveling."
In another corner of the compartment they were speaking
less of mercantile affairs, and more of the Tartar invasion
and its annoying consequences.
"All the horses in Siberia will be requisitioned," said
a traveler, "and communication between the different prov-
|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 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
never throw down the tongs and poker.
Avoid all kinds of pleasantry and facetiousness in thy discourse with her,
and do whatever lies in thy power at the same time, to keep her from all
books and writings which tend thereto: there are some devotional tracts,
which if thou canst entice her to read over--it will be well: but suffer
her not to look into Rabelais, or Scarron, or Don Quixote--
--They are all books which excite laughter; and thou knowest, dear Toby,
that there is no passion so serious as lust.
Stick a pin in the bosom of thy shirt, before thou enterest her parlour.
And if thou art permitted to sit upon the same sopha with her, and she
gives thee occasion to lay thy hand upon hers--beware of taking it--thou