|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Soul of a Bishop by H. G. Wells:
"Sit down," said Scrope, "sit down. You're Mr. Riverton?"
"Yes, Sir," said the young man. He had the frequent "Sir" of
the subaltern. Scrope was in the centre of the seat, and the
young officer sat down on one side of him while Eleanor took up a
watching position on her father's other hand. "You see, Sir,
we've hardly known each other--I mean we've been associated
over a philosophical society and all that sort of thing, but in a
more familiar way, I mean...."
He hung for a moment, just a little short of breath. Scrope
helped him with a grave but sympathetic movement of the head.
"It's a little difficult to explain," the young man apologized.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Middlemarch by George Eliot:
has been a medical man, or perhaps that surgeon whose fine tact,
directed by deeply informed perception, has come to us in our need
with a more sublime beneficence than that of miracle-workers. Some
of that twice-blessed mercy was always with Lydgate in his work at the
Hospital or in private houses, serving better than any opiate to quiet
and sustain him under his anxieties and his sense of mental degeneracy.
Mr. Farebrother's suspicion as to the opiate was true, however.
Under the first galling pressure of foreseen difficulties,
and the first perception that his marriage, if it were not to be
a yoked loneliness, must be a state of effort to go on loving
without too much care about being loved, he had once or twice
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from When the Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells:
I childless--I could find no duty to do. No desire
even in my heart. One thing at last I set myself to do.
"I said, I will do this, and to do it, to overcome
the inertia of this dull body, I resorted to drugs. Great
God, I've had enough of drugs! I don't know if __you__
feel the heavy inconvenience of the body, its
exasperating demand of time from the mind--time--
life! Live! We only live in patches. We have
to eat, and then comes the dull digestive complacencies--
or irritations. We have to take the air or else
our thoughts grow sluggish, stupid, run into gulfs
When the Sleeper Wakes
|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 Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac:
appeared to reign in the political atmosphere, the minds of the little
household were soothed into peace, and the countess's long rides were
one more attributed to her passion for hunting.
It is easy to imagine the deep silence which reigned at nine o'clock
in the evening in the park, courtyards, and gardens of Cinq-Cygne,
where at that particular moment the persons we have described were
harmoniously grouped, where perfect peace pervaded all things, where
comfort and abundance were again enjoyed, and where the worthy and
judicious old gentleman was still hoping to convert his late ward to
his system of obedience to the ruling powers by the argument of what
we may call the continuity of prosperous results.