|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
famous traveller Vernier determined that he should be made to grapple
"Monsieur," said the ex-dyer, as soon as the illustrious Gaudissart
had fired his first broadside, "I will not hide from you the great
difficulties which my native place offers to your enterprise. This
part of the country goes along, as it were, in the rough,--"suo modo."
It is a country where new ideas don't take hold. We live as our
fathers lived, we amuse ourselves with four meals a day, and we
cultivate our vineyards and sell our wines to the best advantage. Our
business principle is to sell things for more than they cost us; we
shall stick in that rut, and neither God nor the devil can get us out
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:
held regularly in the great Buddhist temples in different
parts of the cities, are to the Chinese boy what a country
fair, a circus or Fourth of July is to an American farmer's
boy or girl. He has his cash for candy or fruit, his crackers
which he fires off at New Year's time, making day a time
of unrest, and night hideous. Kite-flying is a pleasure
which no American boy appreciates as does the Chinese, a
pleasure which clings to him till he is three-score years and
ten, for it is not uncommon to find a child and his grandfather
in the balmy days of spring flying their kites together.
He has his pet birds which he carries around in cages or on
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:
in his domestic life. But I have no doubt his name would appear in
any military directory.
JACK. The Army Lists of the last forty years are here. These
delightful records should have been my constant study. [Rushes to
bookcase and tears the books out.] M. Generals . . . Mallam,
Maxbohm, Magley, what ghastly names they have - Markby, Migsby,
Mobbs, Moncrieff! Lieutenant 1840, Captain, Lieutenant-Colonel,
Colonel, General 1869, Christian names, Ernest John. [Puts book
very quietly down and speaks quite calmly.] I always told you,
Gwendolen, my name was Ernest, didn't I? Well, it is Ernest after
all. I mean it naturally is Ernest.
|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 Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:
to let me walk with you, especially in view of my recent
scandalous behaviour all among the baths."
"Which reminds me, you were awful. I thought I should die, when
you asked that poor man- "
"A wholesome thirst for knowledge, my dear. Talking of which,
d'you know it's getting on for half-past one?"
"Is it really?"
"It is, indeed. Time tears away sometimes, doesn't he?"
"You are sweet," said I. "However. About Time. He's a mocker
of men, you know: very contrary. When he can serve, not he.
The Brother of Daphne