|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
this daring crime, worthy to compare in importance with the robbery of
medals from the Public Library; for the unhappy tendency of our age is
to make a murder the more interesting in proportion to the greater sum
of money secured by it.
La Pouraille, a small, lean, dry man, with a face like a ferret,
forty-five years old, and one of the celebrities of the prisons he had
successively lived in since the age of nineteen, knew Jacques Collin
well, how and why will be seen.
Two other convicts, brought with la Pouraille from La Force within
these twenty-four hours, had at once acknowledged and made the whole
prison-yard acknowledge the supremacy of this past-master sealed to
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:
if I catch it, it won't be the first time. I know how to blow my
"But you might also get the pimples."
At this the nurse burst into laughter so loud that the
bric-a-brac rattled. "Oh, oh, oh! Dear lady, let me tell you,
we ain't city folks, we ain't; we don't have such soft skins.
What sort of talk is that? Pimples--what difference would that
make to poor folks like us? We don't have a white complexion like the ladies
of Paris. We are out all day in the fields, in the sun and the rain, instead
of rubbing cold cream on our muzzles! No offense, ma'am--but I say if you're
looking for an excuse to get rid of me, you must get a better one than that."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Child of Storm by H. Rider Haggard:
who am very old; and what was it to me if you chose to kill Masapo or
chose to let him go? Masapo, who, being your secret enemy, was a man
who deserved to die--if not for this matter, then for others."
Now, all this while I had been watching Mameena, who sat, in the Zulu
fashion, listening to this deadly evidence, a slight smile upon her
face, and without attempting any interruption or comment. Only I saw
that while Zikali was examining the medicine, her eyes were seeking the
eyes of Saduko, who remained in his place, also silent, and, to all
appearance, the least interested of anyone present. He tried to avoid
her glance, turning his head uneasily; but at length her eyes caught his
and held them. Then his heart began to beat quickly, his breast heaved,
Child of Storm
|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 International Episode by Henry James:
Couldn't the young man be induced to go on?
"Oh no," said his informant very freely; "he wouldn't be able
to get the young ladies to attend to him now."
There was something very friendly, Beaumont perceived,
in the attitude of the company; they looked at the young Englishmen
with an air of animated sympathy and interest; they smiled,
brightly and unanimously, at everything either of the visitors said.
Lord Lambeth and his companion felt that they were being made
very welcome. Mrs. Westgate seated herself between them, and,
talking a great deal to each, they had occasion to observe
that she was as pretty as their friend Littledale had promised.