|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde:
tedious, common work in the novel form, such silly, vulgar plays as
England. It must necessarily be so. The popular standard is of
such a character that no artist can get to it. It is at once too
easy and too difficult to be a popular novelist. It is too easy,
because the requirements of the public as far as plot, style,
psychology, treatment of life, and treatment of literature are
concerned are within the reach of the very meanest capacity and the
most uncultivated mind. It is too difficult, because to meet such
requirements the artist would have to do violence to his
temperament, would have to write not for the artistic joy of
writing, but for the amusement of half-educated people, and so
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Bronte Sisters:
struggle of right against passion - you leave all the burden to me;
- and not satisfied with that, you do your utmost to fight against
me - when you know that! - ' she paused, and hid her face in her
'Forgive me, Helen!' pleaded I. 'I will never utter another word
on the subject. But may we not still meet as friends?'
'It will not do,' she replied, mournfully shaking her head; and
then she raised her eyes to mine, with a mildly reproachful look
that seemed to say, 'You must know that as well as I.'
'Then what must we do?' cried I, passionately. But immediately I
added in a quieter tone - 'I'll do whatever you desire; only don't
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Exiles by Honore de Balzac:
his word, which proclaimed the Divine Unity, while ascribing to God
and His angels the knowledge, the ends to which the means shone
resplendent to the eyes of man. Fortified by the demonstrations that
proved the existence of the world of Matter, Doctor Sigier constructed
the scheme of a spiritual world dividing us from God by an ascending
scale of spheres, just as the plant is divided from man by an infinite
number of grades. He peopled the heavens, the stars, the planets, the
Quoting Saint Paul, he invested man with a new power; he might rise,
from globe to globe, to the very Fount of eternal life. Jacob's
mystical ladder was both the religious formula and the traditional
|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 Whirligigs by O. Henry:
"is the frost that gathers on the scene in question
the work of the lady or the gentleman who takes
part in it?"
The middle-aged youth looked pained.
"I regret to say," he answered, "that Miss Carroll
seems to have lost her grip on that scene. She's all right
in the rest of the play, but -- but I tell you, sergeant, she
can do it -- she has done it equal to any of 'em -- and
she can do it again."
Miss Carroll ran forward, glowing and palpitating.
"Thank you, Jimmy, for the first good word I've had