|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:
The autumn wind, coming up from the river, cried about the
house with a voice of loss and separation; and Anna and
Darrow sat silent, as if they feared to break the hush that
shut them in. The solitude, the fire-light, the harmony of
soft hangings and old dim pictures, wove about them a spell
of security through which Anna felt, far down in her heart,
the muffled beat of an inextinguishable bliss. How could she
have thought that this last moment would be the moment to
speak to him, when it seemed to have gathered up into its
flight all the scattered splendours of her dream?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James:
because he had read my review; in fact on the Sunday morning I felt
sure he hadn't read it, though THE MIDDLE had been out three days
and bloomed, I assured myself, in the stiff garden of periodicals
which gave one of the ormolu tables the air of a stand at a
station. The impression he made on me personally was such that I
wished him to read it, and I corrected to this end with a
surreptitious hand what might be wanting in the careless
conspicuity of the sheet. I'm afraid I even watched the result of
my manoeuvre, but up to luncheon I watched in vain.
When afterwards, in the course of our gregarious walk, I found
myself for half an hour, not perhaps without another manoeuvre, at
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Confidence by Henry James:
She had forgiven, she had forgotten, she did n't care,
she had possibly never cared! This, at least, was his
theory now, and he longed for a little more light upon it.
His old sense of her being a complex and intricate girl had,
in that quarter of an hour of talk with her, again become lively,
so that he was not absolutely sure his apprehensions had been vain.
But, with his quick vision of things, he had got the impression,
at any rate, that she had no vulgar resentment of any slight he might
have put upon her, or any disadvantage he might have caused her.
Her feeling about such a matter would be large and original.
Bernard desired to see more of that, and in the evening,
|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 Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:
talked over the young Count's success. So discreet were they with
regard to Mme. de Maufrigneuse, that the one man who heard the secret
was the Chevalier. There was no financial postscript at the end of the
letter, no unpleasant reference to the sinews of war, which every
young man makes in such a case. Mlle. Armande showed it to Chesnel.
Chesnel was pleased and raised not a single objection. It was clear,
as the Marquis and the Chevalier agreed, that a young man in favor
with the Duchesse de Maufrigneuse would shortly be a hero at court,
where in the old days women were all-powerful. The Count had not made
a bad choice. The dowagers told over all the gallant adventures of the
Maufrigneuses from Louis XIII. to Louis XVI.--they spared to inquire