|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
a stooping posture, and provided with a massive iron door. With
the smoke and jets of flame issuing from the chinks and crevices
of this door, which seemed to give admittance into the hill-side,
it resembled nothing so much as the private entrance to the
infernal regions, which the shepherds of the Delectable Mountains
were accustomed to show to pilgrims.
There are many such lime-kilns in that tract of country, for the
purpose of burning the white marble which composes a large part
of the substance of the hills. Some of them, built years ago, and
long deserted, with weeds growing in the vacant round of the
interior, which is open to the sky, and grass and wild-flowers
The Snow Image
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:
Graslin to grant him an audience for a few moments.
"Madame," he said, presenting himself with Catherine, "you were so
good as to offer me the farm at the chateau. By granting me so great a
favor I know you intended to put me in the way of making my fortune.
But Catherine has ideas about our future which we desire to submit to
you. If I were to succeed and make money there would certainly be
persons envious of my good fortune; a word is soon said; I might have
quarrels,--I fear them; besides, Catherine would always be uneasy. In
short, too close intercourse with the world will not suit us. I have
come therefore to ask you to give us only the land at the opening of
the Gabou on the commons, with a small piece of the woodland behind
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
get this sooner or later - was in an automobile accident, and it
did for him."
David had lost some of his ruddy color. It was a moment before he
"Poor Jim," he said hoarsely. "He was a good boy, only full of
life. It will be hard on the family."
"Yes," Harrison Miller said simply.
But David was resentful, too. When his friends were in trouble he
wanted to know about it. He was somewhat indignant and not a little
hurt. But he soon reverted to Dick.
"I'll go back and send him off for a rest," he said. "I'm as good
The Breaking Point
|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:
great was Mme. Prieur's reputation, that the Signols sent Henriette to
her as apprentice, and paid for their daughter's board and lodging.
Mme. Prieur was one of the old-fashioned mistresses, who consider that
they fill a parent's place towards their apprentices. They were part
of the family; she took them with her to church, and looked
scrupulously after them. Henriette Signol was a tall, fine-looking
girl, with bold eyes, and long, thick, dark hair, and the pale, very
fair complexion of girls in the South--white as a magnolia flower. For
which reasons Henriette was one of the first on whom Cerizet cast his
eyes; but Henriette came of "honest farmer folk," and only yielded at
last to jealousy, to bad example, and the treacherous promise of