|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
"Well, Captain," the eager, nervous voice rang out again, "you've taken
pity on us at last."
"It's no good blaming me, Mr. Hammond," wheezed old Captain Johnson,
staring at the liner. "You got Mrs. Hammond on board, ain't yer?"
"Yes, yes!" said Hammond, and he kept by the harbour-master's side. "Mrs.
Hammond's there. Hul-lo! We shan't be long now!"
With her telephone ring-ringing, the thrum of her screw filling the air,
the big liner bore down on them, cutting sharp through the dark water so
that big white shavings curled to either side. Hammond and the harbour-
master kept in front of the rest. Hammond took off his hat; he raked the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
the year, I go for his sake and say the required prayers; and I
say with the good faith of a sceptic--'Great God, if there is a
sphere which Thou hast appointed after death for those who have
been perfect, remember good Bourgeat; and if he should have
anything to suffer, let me suffer it for him, that he may enter
all the sooner into what is called Paradise.'
"That, my dear fellow, is as much as a man who holds my opinions
can allow himself. But God must be a good fellow; He cannot owe
me any grudge. I swear to you, I would give my whole fortune if
faith such as Bourgeat's could enter my brain."
Bianchon, who was with Desplein all through his last illness,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
age or older than yourself there are some who are senseless,--as there
certainly are,--they are mad. For tell me, by heaven, do you not think
that in the city the wise are few, while the foolish, whom you call mad,
ALCIBIADES: I do.
SOCRATES: But how could we live in safety with so many crazy people?
Should we not long since have paid the penalty at their hands, and have
been struck and beaten and endured every other form of ill-usage which
madmen are wont to inflict? Consider, my dear friend: may it not be quite
ALCIBIADES: Why, Socrates, how is that possible? I must have been
|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 Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
till she assured them of the deplorable uncertainty of the water-
"It's too uncomfortable to be true!" Edward Boyne had continued
to exult as the avowal of each disadvantage was successively
wrung from her; but he had cut short his rhapsody to ask, with a
sudden relapse to distrust: "And the ghost? You've been
concealing from us the fact that there is no ghost!"
Mary, at the moment, had laughed with him, yet almost with her
laugh, being possessed of several sets of independent
perceptions, had noted a sudden flatness of tone in Alida's