|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Shut against them, barred securely
By the trunks of trees uprooted,
Lying lengthwise, lying crosswise,
And forbidding further passage.
"We must go back," said the old man,
"O'er these logs we cannot clamber;
Not a woodchuck could get through them,
Not a squirrel clamber o'er them!"
And straightway his pipe he lighted,
And sat down to smoke and ponder.
But before his pipe was finished,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Pupil by Henry James:
- the strangest thing in his friend's large little composition, a
temper, a sensibility, even a private ideal, which made him as
privately disown the stuff his people were made of. Morgan had in
secret a small loftiness which made him acute about betrayed
meanness; as well as a critical sense for the manners immediately
surrounding him that was quite without precedent in a juvenile
nature, especially when one noted that it had not made this nature
"old-fashioned," as the word is of children - quaint or wizened or
offensive. It was as if he had been a little gentleman and had
paid the penalty by discovering that he was the only such person in
his family. This comparison didn't make him vain, but it could
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac:
Paquita understood nothing of what the young man said; she looked at
him gently, opening wide eyes which could never be stupid, so much was
pleasure written in them.
"Come, then, my love," she said, returning to her first idea, "wouldst
thou please me?"
"I would do all that thou wouldst, and even that thou wouldst not,"
answered De Marsay, with a laugh. He had recovered his foppish ease,
as he took the resolve to let himself go to the climax of his good
fortune, looking neither before nor after. Perhaps he counted,
moreover, on his power and his capacity of a man used to adventures,
to dominate this girl a few hours later and learn all her secrets.
The Girl with the Golden Eyes
|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 Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde:
brought back by them to the cottage.
"Everybody went to little Hans' funeral, as he was so popular, and
the Miller was the chief mourner.
"'As I was his best friend,' said the Miller, 'it is only fair that
I should have the best place'; so he walked at the head of the
procession in a long black cloak, and every now and then he wiped
his eyes with a big pocket-handkerchief.
"'Little Hans is certainly a great loss to every one,' said the
Blacksmith, when the funeral was over, and they were all seated
comfortably in the inn, drinking spiced wine and eating sweet