|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:
allowed to plant a kitchen-garden, with no questions asked as to the
day's work of the gardener, certainly such advantages represented much
more than another two thousand francs; for a man who was earning a
miserable salary of twelve hundred francs in a government office to
step into the stewardship of Les Aigues was a change from poverty to
"Be faithful to my interests," said the general, "and I shall have
more to say to you. Doubtless I could get the collection of the rents
of Conches, Blangy, and Cerneux taken away from the collection of
those of Soulanges and given to you. In short, when you bring me in a
clear sixty thousand a year from Les Aigues you shall be still further
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
some of the phrases by heart. But I have forgotten them now,
it is so many years ago. Since then I have seen no more Americans.
I think my daughter-in-law has; she is a great gad-about, she
sees every one."
At this the younger lady came rustling forward, pinching in a
very slender waist, and casting idly preoccupied glances over
the front of her dress, which was apparently designed for a ball.
She was, in a singular way, at once ugly and pretty;
she had protuberant eyes, and lips strangely red.
She reminded Newman of his friend, Mademoiselle Nioche; this was
what that much-obstructed young lady would have liked to be.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin:
to him, directing for Mr. Franklin, schoolmaster, at such a place.
He continued to write frequently, sending me large specimens
of an epic poem which he was then composing, and desiring my
remarks and corrections. These I gave him from time to time,
but endeavor'd rather to discourage his proceeding. One of Young's
Satires was then just published. I copy'd and sent him a great
part of it, which set in a strong light the folly of pursuing
the Muses with any hope of advancement by them. All was in vain;
sheets of the poem continued to come by every post. In the mean time,
Mrs. T----, having on his account lost her friends and business,
was often in distresses, and us'd to send for me, and borrow
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
|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 Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
was it?--not sadness--no, not sadness--a something that made you want to
sing. The tune lifted, lifted, the light shone; and it seemed to Miss
Brill that in another moment all of them, all the whole company, would
begin singing. The young ones, the laughing ones who were moving together,
they would begin, and the men's voices, very resolute and brave, would join
them. And then she too, she too, and the others on the benches--they would
come in with a kind of accompaniment--something low, that scarcely rose or
fell, something so beautiful--moving...And Miss Brill's eyes filled with
tears and she looked smiling at all the other members of the company. Yes,
we understand, we understand, she thought--though what they understood she