|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
remark that to be sure neither he (Renouard) nor yet Willie were
much used to meet girls of that remarkable superiority. Willie
when learning business with a firm in London, years before, had
seen none but boarding-house society, he guessed. As to himself in
the good old days, when he trod the glorious flags of Fleet Street,
he neither had access to, nor yet would have cared for the swells.
Nothing interested him then but parliamentary politics and the
oratory of the House of Commons.
He paid to this not very distant past the tribute of a tender,
reminiscent smile, and returned to his first idea that for a
society girl her action was rather fine. All the same the
Within the Tides
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
were never more cleverly twisted round a lie! Ecco."
"Bianchon, you frighten me! You have learned a good many things, then,
since we lived in the Maison Vauquer?"
"Yes, since then, my boy, I have seen puppets, both dolls and
manikins. I know something of the ways of the fine ladies whose bodies
we attend to, saving that which is dearest to them, their child--if
they love it--or their pretty faces, which they always worship. A man
spends his nights by their pillow, wearing himself to death to spare
them the slightest loss of beauty in any part; he succeeds, he keeps
their secret like the dead; they send to ask for his bill, and think
it horribly exorbitant. Who saved them? Nature. Far from recommending
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
coach drove off. The Doctor had held out his hand in a frank,
generous way, telling him to "take care of himself, and to
remember it was his right to rise." Mitchell had simply touched
his hat, as to an equal, with a quiet look of thorough
recognition. Kirby had thrown Deborah some money, which she
found, and clutched eagerly enough. They were gone now, all of
them. The man sat down on the cinder-road, looking up into the
"'T be late, Hugh. Wunnot hur come?"
He shook his head doggedly, and the woman crouched out of his
sight against the wall. Do you remember rare moments when a
Life in the Iron-Mills
|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 Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
At that instant a woman sprang from beneath a chestnut-tree standing
to the right of the gate, and, without making any noise, passed before
the marquis as rapidly as the shadow of a cloud. This vision made him
mute with surprise.
"Why, Albon, what's the matter?" asked the colonel.
"I am rubbing my eyes to know if I am asleep or awake," replied the
marquis, with his face close to the iron rails as he tried to get
another sight of the phantom.
"She must be beneath that fig-tree," he said, pointing to the foliage
of a tree which rose above the wall to the left of the gate.