|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:
Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
Yes; there had been things in his boyhood that he had not understood.
He understood them now. Life suddenly became fiery-coloured to him.
It seemed to him that he had been walking in fire. Why had he not
With his subtle smile, Lord Henry watched him. He knew the precise
psychological moment when to say nothing. He felt intensely interested.
He was amazed at the sudden impression that his words had produced,
and, remembering a book that he had read when he was sixteen,
a book which had revealed to him much that he had not known before,
he wondered whether Dorian Gray was passing through a similar experience.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Country Doctor by Honore de Balzac:
which he has incautiously entered.
"Then who are you, sir?" inquired Benassis.
"Ah! there now!" the officer answered, as he turned and took his stand
before the doctor, though he lacked courage to look at his friend. "I
have deceived you!" he went on (and there was a change in his voice).
"I have acted a lie for the first time in my life, and I am well
punished for it; for after this I cannot explain why I came here to
play the spy upon you, confound it! Ever since I have had a glimpse of
your soul, so to speak, I would far sooner have taken a box on the ear
whenever I heard you call me Captain Bluteau! Perhaps you may forgive
me for this subterfuge, but I shall never forgive myself; I, Pierre
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Confidence by Henry James:
an incongruous union. All this was a good deal for Bernard
to see in the course of half a minute, especially through
the rather opaque medium of a feeling of irreflective joy;
and his impressions at this moment have a value only in so far
as they were destined to be confirmed by larger opportunity.
"You have come a little sooner than we expected," said Gordon;
"but you are all the more welcome."
"It was rather a risk," Blanche observed. "One should be notified,
when one wishes to make a good impression."
"Ah, my dear lady," said Bernard, "you made your impression--
as far as I am concerned--a long time ago, and I doubt whether
|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 New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:
exposition of my views, and she sat close to me on the sofa, looking
up into my face, hanging on my words, a deliberate and invincible
"Yes," she said, "yes." . . .
I had never doubted my new conceptions before; now I doubted them
profoundly. But I went on talking. It's the grim irony in the
lives of all politicians, writers, public teachers, that once the
audience is at their feet, a new loyalty has gripped them. It isn't
their business to admit doubt and imperfections. They have to go on
talking. And I was now so accustomed to Isabel's vivid interruptions,
qualifications, restatements, and confirmations. . . .