|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
up the basket she had joyfully upset. "I'll take a leaf out of
her book, and try not only to seem glad, but to be so, and not
grudge her one minute of happiness. But it won't be easy, for
it is a dreadful disappointment." And poor Jo bedewed the little
fat pincushion she held with several very bitter tears.
"Jo, dear, I'm very selfish, but I couldn't spare you, and
I'm glad you are not going quite yet," whispered Beth, embracing
her, basket and all, with such a clinging touch and loving face
that Jo felt comforted in spite of the sharp regret that made her
want to box her own ears, and humbly beg Aunt Carrol to burden
her with this favor, and see how gratefully she would bear it.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
would seem less interesting. And it may be that in the relation
of these few incidents of her career there may have been revealed
something of the patriotism, the statesmanship, the imperious
will, and the ambitions that brought about the reeestablishment
and the continuation of the dynasty of her people. We have seen
how the enemies of her country fell before her sword. Dangerous
statesmen fell before her pen, and if they were fortunate enough
to rise again with all their honour it was to be divested of all
their former power. Every obstacle in her path was overcome
either by diplomacy or by force.
The Empress Dowager has no double in Chinese history, if indeed
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
have more power in the world than his unaided genius. Then, if he
wants money, every one will lend it to him on those rags. At the
Bourse, among bankers, wherever he goes, even at the usurers, he will
find money because he can give security. Well, Monsieur, is not that a
great gulf to bridge over in our social system? But that is only one
aspect of our work. We insure debtors by another scheme of policies
and premiums. We offer annuities at rates graduated according to ages,
on a sliding-scale infinitely more advantageous than what are called
tontines, which are based on tables of mortality that are notoriously
false. Our company deals with large masses of men; consequently the
annuitants are secure from those distressing fears which sadden old
|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 Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain:
never meant nothing to me. But Tom Sawyer was different.
When Tom Sawyer seen a thing it just got up on its hind
legs and TALKED to him--told him everything it knowed.
I never see such a head.
"Tom Sawyer," I says, "I'll say it again as I've said it
a many a time before: I ain't fitten to black your boots.
But that's all right--that's neither here nor there.
God Almighty made us all, and some He gives eyes
that's blind, and some He gives eyes that can see, and I
reckon it ain't none of our lookout what He done it for;
it's all right, or He'd 'a' fixed it some other way.