|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Coxon Fund by Henry James:
Saltram's queer figure, his thick nose and hanging lip, were fresh
to me: in the light of my old friend's fine cold symmetry they
presented mere success in amusing as the refuge of conscious
ugliness. Already, at hungry twenty-six, Gravener looked as blank
and parliamentary as if he were fifty and popular. In my scrap of
a residence--he had a worldling's eye for its futile conveniences,
but never a comrade's joke--I sounded Frank Saltram in his ears; a
circumstance I mention in order to note that even then I was
surprised at his impatience of my enlivenment. As he had never
before heard of the personage it took indeed the form of impatience
of the preposterous Mulvilles, his relation to whom, like mine, had
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lysis by Plato:
Darius, or even to Darius himself: I am such a lover of friends as that.
And when I see you and Lysis, at your early age, so easily possessed of
this treasure, and so soon, he of you, and you of him, I am amazed and
delighted, seeing that I myself, although I am now advanced in years, am so
far from having made a similar acquisition, that I do not even know in what
way a friend is acquired. But I want to ask you a question about this, for
you have experience: tell me then, when one loves another, is the lover or
the beloved the friend; or may either be the friend?
Either may, I should think, be the friend of either.
Do you mean, I said, that if only one of them loves the other, they are
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
relieves his feelings in the language of France. Next, inclining his
head slightly to one side, our hero endeavoured to pose as though he
were addressing a middle-aged lady of exquisite refinement; and the
result of these efforts was a picture which any artist might have
yearned to portray. Next, his delight led him gracefully to execute a
hop in ballet fashion, so that the wardrobe trembled and a bottle of
eau-de-Cologne came crashing to the floor. Yet even this contretemps
did not upset him; he merely called the offending bottle a fool, and
then debated whom first he should visit in his attractive guise.
Suddenly there resounded through the hall a clatter of spurred heels,
and then the voice of a gendarme saying: "You are commanded to present
|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 Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
My whole future depended upon the decision of this conductor.
Agitated though I was while this ceremony was proceeding, still,
externally, at least, I was apparently calm and self-possessed.
He went on with his duty--examining several colored passengers
before reaching me. He was somewhat harsh in tome and peremptory
in manner until he reached me, when, strange enough, and to my surprise
and relief, his whole manner changed. Seeing that I did not readily
produce my free papers, as the other colored persons in the car had done,
he said to me, in friendly contrast with his bearing toward the others:
"I suppose you have your free papers?"
To which I answered: