|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:
Louis XIV sought their fortune in the New World, seemed to pass into
him. He spoke of it all with a kind of proud simplicity.
"It appears curious to m'sieu', no doubt, but it has been so in
Canada from the beginning. There were many nobles here in the old
time. Frontenac,--he was a duke or a prince. Denonville,--he was a
grand seigneur. La Salle, Vaudreuil,--these are all noble, counts
or barons. I know not the difference, but the cure has told me the
names. And the old Jacques Cartier, the father of all, when he went
home to France, I have heard that the King made him a lord and gave
him a castle. Why not? He was a capable man, a brave man; he could
sail a big ship, he could run the rapids of the great river in his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:
physical disfigurement. No man knew better than he that a look, a
word, suffices to blot out years of happiness, and is the more cruel
because it contrasts with the unfailing tenderness of the past: our
nature leads us to suffer more from one discord in our happiness than
pleasure coming in the midst of trouble can bring us joy.
Presently Balthazar appeared to waken; he looked quickly about him,
"Vespers? Ah, yes! the children are at vespers."
He made a few steps forward, and looked into the garden, where
magnificent tulips were growing on all sides; then he suddenly stopped
short as if brought up against a wall, and cried out,--
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Princess of Parms by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
"I was hurt, but even then, John Carter, I did not repulse you,
as I should have done, until you made it doubly worse by
taunting me with having won me through combat."
"I do not need ask your forgiveness now, Dejah Thoris,"
I cried. "You must know that my fault was of ignorance of
your Barsoomian customs. What I failed to do, through
implicit belief that my petition would be presumptuous and
unwelcome, I do now, Dejah Thoris; I ask you to be my wife,
and by all the Virginian fighting blood that flows in my
veins you shall be."
"No, John Carter, it is useless," she cried, hopelessly,
|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 An International Episode by Henry James:
"My mother and sisters--" began the young nobleman with a certain energy.
But he stopped in time, puffing at his cigar.
"Your mother spoke to me about it, with tears in her eyes,"
said Percy Beaumont. "She said she felt very nervous.
I promised to keep you out of mischief."
"You had better take care of yourself," said the object of maternal
and ducal solicitude.
"Ah," rejoined the young barrister, "I haven't the expectation of a hundred
thousand a year, not to mention other attractions."
"Well," said Lord Lambeth, "don't cry out before you're hurt!"
It was certainly very much cooler at Newport, where our travelers