|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Distinguished Provincial at Paris by Honore de Balzac:
Canalis even now, and he is famous and a man of good family. This
young fellow is neither your son nor your lover, I suppose?" added the
haughty dame, with a keen, inquisitive glance at her cousin.
"How fortunate for me that I kept the little scapegrace at a
distance!" thought Madame de Bargeton.
"Very well," continued the Marquise, taking the expression in her
cousin's eyes for an answer, "drop him, I beg of you. Taking an
illustrious name in that way!--Why, it is a piece of impudence that
will meet with its desserts in society. It is his mother's name, I
dare say; but just remember, dear, that the King alone can confer, by
a special ordinance, the title of de Rubempre on the son of a daughter
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
them their daily nourishment, leavings from the kitchen, etc., acquitted
himself conscientiously of his task. He sometimes amused himself at the
expense of his little pensioners by tweaking their tails; but this was
mischief, and not wickedness, for these little twisted tails amused him
like a plaything, and his instinct was that of a child. One day in this
month of March, Pencroft, talking to the engineer, reminded Cyrus Harding
of a promise which the latter had not as yet had time to fulfil.
"You once spoke of an apparatus which would take the place of the long
ladders at Granite House, captain," said he; "won't you make it some day?"
"Nothing will be easier; but is this a really useful thing?"
"Certainly, captain. After we have given ourselves necessaries, let us
The Mysterious Island
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
Six seconds elapsed between the flash and the report.
Therefore the brig was about a mile and a quarter from the coast.
At the same time, the chains were heard rattling through the hawse-holes.
The vessel had just anchored in sight of Granite House!
There was no longer any doubt as to the pirates' intentions. They had
dropped anchor at a short distance from the island, and it was evident that
the next day by means of their boats they purposed to land on the beach!
Cyrus Harding and his companions were ready to act, but, determined
though they were, they must not forget to be prudent. Perhaps their
presence might still be concealed in the event of the pirates contenting
The Mysterious Island
|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 Baby Mine by Margaret Mayo:
"So there were," assented Jimmy, thinking of his hitherto narrow
"Her father is old John Merton," continued Alfred. "Merton the
stationer--you know him, Jimmy. Unfortunately, he has a great
deal of money; but that hasn't spoilt her. Oh no! She is just as
simple and considerate in her behaviour as if she were some poor
little struggling school teacher. She is the one for me, Jimmy.
There is no doubt about it, and I'll tell you a secret."
Jimmy looked at him blankly.
"I am going to propose to her this very night."
"Good Lord!" groaned Jimmy, as if his friend had been suddenly