|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:
She mentioned a great many names very freely and distinctly;
the young Englishmen, shuffling about and bowing, were rather bewildered.
But at last they were provided with chairs--low, wicker chairs,
gilded, and tied with a great many ribbons--and one of the ladies
(a very young person, with a little snub nose and several dimples)
offered Percy Beaumont a fan. The fan was also adorned with pink
love knots; but Percy Beaumont declined it, although he was very hot.
Presently, however, it became cooler; the breeze from the sea
was delicious, the view was charming, and the people sitting there
looked exceedingly fresh and comfortable. Several of the ladies
seemed to be young girls, and the gentlemen were slim, fair youths,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
I have plans for your future which you will not upset by making
yourself useful to Queen Catherine; but, heavens and earth! don't risk
your head. Messieurs de Guise would cut it off as easily as the
Burgundian cuts a turnip, and then those persons who are now employing
you will disown you utterly."
"I know that, father," said Christophe.
"What! are you really so strong, my son? You know it, and are willing
to risk all?"
"By the powers above us!" cried the father, pressing his son in his
arms, "we can understand each other; you are worthy of your father. My
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Middlemarch by George Eliot:
of a letter which had requested him to fix a time for his visit.
Mr. Casaubon had never put any question concerning the nature
of his illness to Lydgate, nor had he even to Dorothea betrayed
any anxiety as to how far it might be likely to cut short his
labors or his life. On this point, as on all others, he shrank
from pity; and if the suspicion of being pitied for anything
in his lot surmised or known in spite of himself was embittering,
the idea of calling forth a show of compassion by frankly admitting
an alarm or a sorrow was necessarily intolerable to him.
Every proud mind knows something of this experience, and perhaps
it is only to be overcome by a sense of fellowship deep enough
|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 An Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac:
"Very well," said Napoleon, noticing an anxious look on Fouche's face.
The matter did not seem positively decided when the Council rose; but
it had the effect of putting into Napoleon's mind a vague distrust of
the four young men. Monsieur d'Hauteserre, believing that all was
gained, wrote a letter announcing the good news. The family at Cinq-
Cygne were therefore not surprised when, a few days later, Goulard
came to inform the countess and Madame d'Hauteserre that they were to
send the four gentlemen to Troyes, where the prefect would show them
the decree reinstating them in their rights and administer to them the
oath of allegiance to the Empire and the laws. Laurence replied that
she would send the notification to her cousins and the Messieurs