|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gambara by Honore de Balzac:
that came to hand, I went off again on foot across Italy. Finally, at
the age of two-and-twenty, I settled in Venice, where for the first
time I enjoyed rest and found myself in a decent position. I there
made the acquaintance of a Venetian nobleman who liked my ideas, who
encouraged me in my investigations, and who got me employment at the
"Living was cheap, lodging inexpensive. I had a room in that Capello
palace from which the famous Bianca came forth one evening to become a
Grand Duchess of Tuscany. And I would dream that my unrecognized fame
would also emerge from thence one day to be crowned.
"I spent my evenings at the theatre and my days in work. Then came
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:
that, though somewhat too much may have been made in past years of
certain rock-inscriptions, and so forth, on this side of the
Atlantic, there can be no reasonable doubt that our own race landed
and tried to settle on the shore of New England six hundred years
before their kinsmen, and, in many cases, their actual descendants,
the august Pilgrim Fathers of the seventeenth century. And so, as I
said, a Scandinavian dynasty might have been seated now upon the
throne of Mexico. And how was that strange chance lost? First, of
course, by the length and danger of the coasting voyage. It was one
thing to have, like Columbus and Vespucci, Cortes and Pizarro, the
Azores as a halfway port; another to have Greenland, or even
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer:
She grasped my arm.
Could you hide me from him if I came to you, and told you all I know?
"Ah!" Her expression changed. "They can put me on the rack if they choose,
but never one word would I speak--never one little word."
She threw up her head scornfully. Then the proud glance softened again.
"But I will speak for you."
Closer she came, and closer, until she could whisper in my ear.
"Hide me from your police, from HIM, from everybody,
and I will no longer be his slave."
My heart was beating with painful rapidity. I had not counted on this
The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
|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 Tales and Fantasies by Robert Louis Stevenson:
She was a large woman, strong, calm, a little masculine, her
features marked with courage and good sense; and as John
blinked back at her, a faint resemblance dodged about his
memory, as when a tune haunts us, and yet will not be
'Why, it's John!' cried the nun.
'I dare say I'm mad,' said John, unconsciously following King
Lear; 'but, upon my word, I do believe you're Flora.'
'Of course I am,' replied she.
And yet it is not Flora at all, thought John; Flora was
slender, and timid, and of changing colour, and dewy-eyed;