|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Reign of King Edward the Third by William Shakespeare:
So did the black snake of Bullen, then which
A bonnier vessel never yet spread sail.
But all in vain; both Sun, the Wind and tide,
Revolted all unto our foe men's side,
That we perforce were fain to give them way,
And they are landed.--Thus my tale is done:
We have untimely lost, and they have won.
Then rests there nothing, but with present speed
To join our several forces all in one,
And bid them battle, ere they range too far.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Underground City by Jules Verne:
It may also be that she believes it better for us, as well as for herself,
that she should remain mute in a way otherwise so unaccountable."
In consequence of these opinions, it was agreed by common consent
to avoid all allusion to the maiden's former mode of life.
One day, however, Harry was led to make known to Nell what
James Starr, his father, mother, and himself believed they owed
to her interference.
It was a fete-day. The miners made holiday on the surface of
the county of Stirling as well as in its subterraneous domains.
Parties of holiday-makers were moving about in all directions.
Songs resounded in many places beneath the sonorous vaults
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
however, by her self-important gait, the sideways turn of her
head, and the cock of her eye, as she pried into one and another
nook of the garden,--croaking to herself, all the while, with
inexpressible complacency,--it was made evident that this
identical hen, much as mankind undervalued her, carried something
about her person the worth of which was not to be estimated either
in gold or precious stones. Shortly after, there was a prodigious
cackling and gratulation of Chanticleer and all his family, including
the wizened chicken, who appeared to understand the matter quite as
well as did his sire, his mother, or his aunt. That afternoon Phoebe
found a diminutive egg,--not in the regular nest, it was far too
House of Seven Gables
|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 Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:
Colonel Gouraud wore the cross of an officer of the Legion of honor,
and his emoluments from that, together with his salary as a retired
officer, gave him in all about three thousand francs a year.
The lawyer, tall and thin, had liberal opinions in place of talent,
and his only revenue was the meagre profits of his office. In Provins
lawyers plead their own cases. The court was unfavorable to Vinet on
account of his opinions; consequently, even the farmers who were
Liberals, when it came to lawsuits preferred to employ some lawyer who
was more congenial to the judges. Vinet was regarded with disfavor in
other ways. He was said to have seduced a rich girl in the
neighborhood of Coulommiers, and thus have forced her parents to marry