|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Intentions by Oscar Wilde:
of realism. It is silly, too. It springs from an entire ignorance
of psychology. Man can believe the impossible, but man can never
believe the improbable. However, I must read the end of my
'What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to
revive this old art of Lying. Much of course may be done, in the
way of educating the public, by amateurs in the domestic circle, at
literary lunches, and at afternoon teas. But this is merely the
light and graceful side of lying, such as was probably heard at
Cretan dinner-parties. There are many other forms. Lying for the
sake of gaining some immediate personal advantage, for instance -
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
"Come," she said, taking him by the hand and leading him into her
bedroom. After assuring herself that they were quite alone, she drew
from her bosom a soiled and crumpled letter.
"Read that," she said, making a violent effort to say the words.
She fell into a chair, seemingly exhausted. While the old man searched
for his spectacles and rubbed their glasses, she raised her eyes to
him, and seemed to study him with curiosity; then she said in an
altered voice, and very softly,--
"I trust you."
"I am here to share your crime," replied the good man, simply.
She quivered. For the first time in that little town, her soul
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson:
|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 Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:
'There's a poet for you!' muttered Vasili Andreevich, pulling
at the reins.
'Yes, a fine lad--a true peasant,' said Nikita.
They drove on.
Nikita, wrapping his coat closely about him and pressing his
head down so close to his shoulders that his short beard
covered his throat, sat silently, trying not to lose the warmth
he had obtained while drinking tea in the house. Before him he
saw the straight lines of the shafts which constantly deceived
him into thinking they were on a well-travelled road, and the
Master and Man