|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
plates piled up with ice on the table, the crumpled shirt-fronts of
the gentlemen in plain clothes, and a brisk and noisy conversation,
now dominated by the general's voice, and now besprinkled with
champagne, were all in perfect harmony. The guests rose from the table
with a pleasant feeling of repletion, and, after having lit their
pipes, all stepped out, coffee-cups in hand, on to the verandah.
"We can see her now," said the general. "Here, my dear fellow," added
he, addressing his aide-de-camp, an active well-made young officer,
"have the bay mare brought here. You shall see for yourselves,
At these words the general took a long pull at his pipe.
Taras Bulba and Other Tales
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:
and dismembered. I'd assault a bear that was annoying you,' says
Paisley, 'or I'd endorse your note, or rub the place between your
shoulder-blades with opodeldoc the same as ever; but there my sense of
etiquette ceases. In this fracas with Mrs. Jessup we play it alone.
I've notified you fair.'
"And then I collaborates with myself, and offers the following
resolutions and by-laws:
"'Friendship between man and man,' says I, 'is an ancient historical
virtue enacted in the days when men had to protect each other against
lizards with eighty-foot tails and flying turtles. And they've kept up
the habit to this day, and stand by each other till the bellboy comes
Heart of the West
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:
"Oh, deuce take it! I am a decent sort of man," replied the Colonel.
"I have no idea of paying my addresses to a woman I cannot marry.
Besides, Martial, she expressly told me that she did not intend to
"Colonel, I will bet a hundred napoleons to your gray horse that she
will dance with me this evening."
"Done!" said the Colonel, putting his hand in the coxcomb's.
"Meanwhile I am going to look for Soulanges; he perhaps knows the
lady, as she seems interested in him."
"You have lost, my good fellow," cried Martial, laughing. "My eyes
have met hers, and I know what they mean. My dear friend, you owe me
|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 On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau:
much on his guard in such a case, lest his actions be biased
by obstinacy or an undue regard for the opinions of men.
Let him see that he does only what belongs to himself and
to the hour.
I think sometimes, Why, this people mean well, they are
only ignorant; they would do better if they knew how: why
give your neighbors this pain to treat you as they are not
inclined to? But I think again, This is no reason why I
should do as they do, or permit others to suffer much
greater pain of a different kind. Again, I sometimes say to
myself, When many millions of men, without heat, without ill
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience