|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
"Money,--yes, that's right," said Margaritis.
"Well, Monsieur, I am sent into the departments by a company of
bankers and capitalists, who have apprehended the enormous waste which
rising men of talent are thus making of time, and, consequently, of
intelligence and productive ability. We have seized the idea of
capitalizing for such men their future prospects, and cashing their
talents by discounting--what? TIME; securing the value of it to their
survivors. I may say that it is no longer a question of economizing
time, but of giving it a price, a quotation; of representing in a
pecuniary sense those products developed by time which presumably you
possess in the region of your intellect; of representing also the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:
now, and their solemn booming smote upon the ear
like a message of doom. A superstitious despair pos-
sessed the heart of every monk and published itself
in his ghastly face. Everywhere, these black-robed,
soft-sandaled, tallow-visaged specters appeared, flitted
about and disappeared, noiseless as the creatures of a
troubled dream, and as uncanny.
The old abbot's joy to see me was pathetic. Even
to tears; but he did the shedding himself. He said:
"Delay not, son, but get to thy saving work. An
we bring not the water back again, and soon, we are
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Bucky O'Connor by William MacLeod Raine:
election, Mr. O'Halloran," reflected Bucky aloud.
"'Twould be just as well, me son. My friends won't be overpopular
with Megales if the cards fall his way."
"If you win, I suppose we may count Henderson as good as a free
"It would be a pity if me pull wouldn't do a little thing like
that," scoffed the conspirator genially.
"But, win or lose, I may be able to help you. We need musicians
to play those pianos we're bringing in. Well, the most dependable
men we can set to play some of them are the prisoners in the
fortress. There's likely to be a wholesale jail delivery 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 Mansfield Park by Jane Austen:
"Why, as to that, Mr. Rushworth is a very good sort
of young man, and it is a great match for her."
"But Miss Bertram does not care three straws for him;
_that_ is your opinion of your intimate friend. _I_ do
not subscribe to it. I am sure Miss Bertram is very much
attached to Mr. Rushworth. I could see it in her eyes,
when he was mentioned. I think too well of Miss Bertram
to suppose she would ever give her hand without her heart."
"Mary, how shall we manage him?"
"We must leave him to himself, I believe. Talking does
no good. He will be taken in at last."