|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
ever meet the Black Man, mother?"
"And who told you this story, Pearl," asked her mother,
recognising a common superstition of the period.
"It was the old dame in the chimney corner, at the house where
you watched last night," said the child. "But she fancied me
asleep while she was talking of it. She said that a thousand and
a thousand people had met him here, and had written in his
The Scarlet Letter
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Edition of The Ambassadors by Henry James:
mean something that they didn't mean openly. Help, strength, peace,
a sublime support--she hadn't found so much of these things as that
the amount wouldn't be sensibly greater for any scrap his
appearance of faith in her might enable her to feel in her hand.
Every little, in a long strain, helped, and if he happened to
affect her as a firm object she could hold on by, he wouldn't jerk
himself out of her reach. People in difficulties held on by what
was nearest, and he was perhaps after all not further off than
sources of comfort more abstract. It was as to this he had made up
his mind; he had made it up, that is, to give her a sign. The sign
would be that--though it was her own affair--he understood; the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson:
an unforgiving disposition from my birth, slow to take offence,
slower to forget it, and now incensed both against my companion
and myself. For the best part of two days he was unweariedly
kind; silent, indeed, but always ready to help, and always hoping
(as I could very well see) that my displeasure would blow by.
For the same length of time I stayed in myself, nursing my anger,
roughly refusing his services, and passing him over with my eyes
as if he had been a bush or a stone.
The second night, or rather the peep of the third day, found us
upon a very open hill, so that we could not follow our usual plan
and lie down immediately to eat and sleep. Before we had reached
|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 Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
remain the same, there are arguments, no matter whether true or false,
which enable the user of them to prove that the wisest and the richest are
one and the same, although he is in the wrong and his opponents are in the
right. There would be nothing strange in this; it would be as if two
persons were to dispute about letters, one declaring that the word Socrates
began with an S, the other that it began with an A, and the latter could
gain the victory over the former.
Eryxias glanced at the audience, laughing and blushing at once, as if he
had had nothing to do with what had just been said, and replied,--No,
indeed, Socrates, I never supposed that our arguments should be of a kind
which would never convince any one of those here present or be of advantage