|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:
" 'On the day when he left, Madame la Comtesse had quitted la Grand
Breteche, having dismantled it. Some people even say that she had
burnt all the furniture, the hangings--in short, all the chattels and
furniture whatever used in furnishing the premises now let by the said
M.--(Dear, what am I saying? I beg your pardon, I thought I was
dictating a lease.)--In short, that she burnt everything in the meadow
at Merret. Have you been to Merret, monsieur?--No,' said he, answering
himself, 'Ah, it is a very fine place.'
" 'For about three months previously,' he went on, with a jerk of his
head, 'the Count and Countess had lived in a very eccentric way; they
La Grande Breteche
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain:
"Well, that's all right, then. I reckon we're safe
as long as we keep mum. But let's swear again, any-
way. It's more surer."
So they swore again with dread solemnities.
"What is the talk around, Huck? I've heard a
power of it."
"Talk? Well, it's just Muff Potter, Muff Potter,
Muff Potter all the time. It keeps me in a sweat, con-
stant, so's I want to hide som'ers."
"That's just the same way they go on round me.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde:
of this that he was thinking to-night, as he lay back on his
luxurious couch, watching the great pinewood log that was burning
itself out on the open hearth. The designs, which were from the
hands of the most famous artists of the time, had been submitted to
him many months before, and he had given orders that the artificers
were to toil night and day to carry them out, and that the whole
world was to be searched for jewels that would be worthy of their
work. He saw himself in fancy standing at the high altar of the
cathedral in the fair raiment of a King, and a smile played and
lingered about his boyish lips, and lit up with a bright lustre his
dark woodland eyes.
|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 The Call of the Wild by Jack London:
a mere pampered house-dog. Hunting and kindred outdoor delights
had kept down the fat and hardened his muscles; and to him, as to
the cold-tubbing races, the love of water had been a tonic and a
And this was the manner of dog Buck was in the fall of 1897, when
the Klondike strike dragged men from all the world into the frozen
North. But Buck did not read the newspapers, and he did not know
that Manuel, one of the gardener's helpers, was an undesirable
acquaintance. Manuel had one besetting sin. He loved to play
Chinese lottery. Also, in his gambling, he had one besetting
weakness--faith in a system; and this made his damnation certain.