|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
" 'You have told me what I must do to be your mistress still,' she
added; 'I am glad.'
" 'And then' (La Palferine told us) 'she went out with a little
coquettish gesture like a woman that has had her way. As she stood in
my garrett doorway, tall and proud, she seemed to reach the stature of
an antique sibyl.'
"All this should sufficiently explain the manners and customs of the
Bohemia in which the young /condottiere/ is one of the most brilliant
figures," Nathan continued after a pause. "Now it so happened that I
discovered Claudine's identity, and could understand the appalling
truth of one line which you perhaps overlooked in that letter of hers.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Finished by H. Rider Haggard:
trap into the pool. "Wake up," I said. "That fellow has only
got what he deserved, and you were quite right to shoot him."
"I am glad you think so," answered Anscombe absently. "It was so
like murder. Don't you remember I told you I should kill a man
in this place and about a woman?"
"I remember nothing," I answered boldly, "except that if we stop
here much longer we shall have those Basutos on us. That brute
was whistling to them and holding the horses till they came to
kill us. Pull yourself together, take the reins and follow me."
He obeyed, being a skilful whip enough who, as he informed me
afterwards, had been accustomed to drive a four-in-hand at home.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
junior officers, armed with Sara Lee's box of pins, thrust back the
enemy at various points and proved conclusively that his position was
untenable. They celebrated these paper victories with Sara Lee's tea,
and went away the better for an hour or so of hope and tea and a girl's
soft voice and quiet eyes.
Now and then there was one, of course, who lagged behind his fellows,
with a yearning tenderness in his face that a glance from the girl would
have quickly turned to love. But Sara Lee had no coquetry. When, as
occasionally happened, there was a bit too much fervor when her hand was
kissed, she laid it where it belonged - to loneliness and the spring -
and became extremely maternal and very, very kind. Which - both of them
|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 Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:
cigars, and discussing politics, literature, and art in that
suggestive desultory manner which often gives a charm to casual
It was a stirring epoch, that of February, 1848. The Revolution,
at first so hopeful, and soon to manifest itself in failure so
disastrous, was hurrying to an outburst. France had been for many
months agitated by cries of electoral reform, and by indignation at
the corruption and scandals in high places. The Praslin murder,
and the dishonor of M. Teste, terminated by suicide, had been
interpreted as signs of the coming destruction. The political
banquets given in various important cities had been occasions for