|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ancient Regime by Charles Kingsley:
the Anglo-Danish nobility by William and his Frenchmen. Those two
terrible calamities, following each other in the short space of
fifty years, seem to have welded together, by a community of
suffering, all ranks and races, at least south of the Tweed; and
when the English rose after the storm, they rose as one homogeneous
people, never to be governed again by an originally alien race. The
English nobility were, from the time of Magna Charta, rather an
official nobility, than, as in most continental countries, a
separate caste; and whatever caste tendencies had developed
themselves before the Wars of the Roses (as such are certain to do
during centuries of continued wealth and power), were crushed out by
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:
shadow of the wall, warming them to a complexion of flame-
colour. Henchard watched him with his mouth firmly set the
squareness of his jaw and the verticality of his profile
being unduly marked.
Farfrae came on with one hand in his pocket, and humming a
tune in a way which told that the words were most in his
mind. They were those of the song he had sung when he
arrived years before at the Three Mariners, a poor young
man, adventuring for life and fortune, and scarcely knowing
"And here's a hand, my trusty fiere,
The Mayor of Casterbridge
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Apology by Plato:
allege that I corrupt them intentionally or unintentionally?
Intentionally, I say.
But you have just admitted that the good do their neighbours good, and the
evil do them evil. Now, is that a truth which your superior wisdom has
recognized thus early in life, and am I, at my age, in such darkness and
ignorance as not to know that if a man with whom I have to live is
corrupted by me, I am very likely to be harmed by him; and yet I corrupt
him, and intentionally, too--so you say, although neither I nor any other
human being is ever likely to be convinced by you. But either I do not
corrupt them, or I corrupt them unintentionally; and on either view of the
case you lie. If my offence is unintentional, the law has no cognizance of
|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 Eve and David by Honore de Balzac:
"Where is the money?"
The Spaniard made no answer, and Lucien said within himself, "There I
had him; he was laughing at me."
In another moment they took their places. Neither of them said a word.
Silently the Abbe groped in the pocket of the coach, and drew out a
traveler's leather pouch with three divisions in it; thence he took a
hundred Portuguese moidores, bringing out his large hand filled with
gold three times.
"Father, I am yours," said Lucien, dazzled by the stream of gold.
"Child!" said the priest, and set a tender kiss on Lucien's forehead.
"There is twice as much still left in the bag, besides the money for