|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
the vexation of his pretended mother. Her hatred grew with every
passionate glance he turned on Marie. Silence or conversation, all
increased the dreadful wrath which she carefully concealed beneath a
"Mademoiselle," said the young man, "you are quite mistaken. Naval men
are not more exposed to danger than soldiers. Women ought not to
dislike the navy; we sailors have a merit beyond that of the military,
--we are faithful to our mistresses."
"Oh, from necessity," replied Mademoiselle de Verneuil, laughing.
"But even so, it is fidelity," said Madame du Gua, in a deep voice.
The conversation grew lively, touching upon subjects that were
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Vailima Prayers & Sabbath Morn by Robert Louis Stevenson:
protection that he would miss were the prayer forgotten. The
average Samoan is but a larger child in most things, and would lay
an uneasy head on his wooden pillow if he had not joined, even
perfunctorily, in the evening service. With my husband, prayer,
the direct appeal, was a necessity. When he was happy he felt
impelled to offer thanks for that undeserved joy; when in sorrow,
or pain, to call for strength to bear what must be borne.
Vailima lay up some three miles of continual rise from Apia, and
more than half that distance from the nearest village. It was a
long way for a tired man to walk down every evening with the sole
purpose of joining in family worship; and the road through the bush
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:
match was not for himself. I gave him all possible assurances that
if I lived to come safe to England, I would deliver his letters,
and do his business effectually; and that he might depend I should
never forget the circumstances I had left him in. But still I was
impatient to know who was the person to be married; upon which he
told me it was my Jack-of-all-trades and his maid Susan. I was
most agreeably surprised when he named the match; for, indeed, I
thought it very suitable. The character of that man I have given
already; and as for the maid, she was a very honest, modest, sober,
and religious young woman: had a very good share of sense, was
agreeable enough in her person, spoke very handsomely and to the
|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 House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights