|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
for the students, or those who desire to be benefited by it, even to
lay the foundation themselves. The student who secures his coveted
leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor
necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure,
defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure
fruitful. "But," says one, "you do not mean that the students
should go to work with their hands instead of their heads?" I do
not mean that exactly, but I mean something which he might think a
good deal like that; I mean that they should not play life, or study
it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game,
but earnestly live it from beginning to end. How could youths
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Europeans by Henry James:
her to acquit herself of the exhibition of some peculiar faculty,
some brilliant talent. Their attitude seemed to imply that she was a kind
of conversational mountebank, attired, intellectually, in gauze and spangles.
This attitude gave a certain ironical force to Madame Munster's next words.
"Now this is your circle," she said to her uncle. "This is your salon.
These are your regular habitu; aaes, eh? I am so glad to see
you all together."
"Oh," said Mr. Wentworth, "they are always dropping in and out.
You must do the same."
"Father," interposed Charlotte Wentworth, "they must do something more."
And she turned her sweet, serious face, that seemed at once timid and placid,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from La Grenadiere by Honore de Balzac:
"My son!" she said. There was something so solemn in the dying woman's
tones, that the power of her wrought-up soul produced a violent
reaction on the boy; he felt an intense heat pass through the marrow
of his bones.
"What is it, mother?"
"Listen! To-morrow all will be over for me. We shall see each other no
more. To-morrow you will be a man, my child. So I am obliged to make
some arrangements, which must remain a secret, known only to us. Take
the key of my little table. That is it. Now open the drawer. You will
find two sealed papers to the left. There is the name of LOUIS on one,
and on the other MARIE."
|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 Awakening & Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin:
"Do me a favor, Robert," spoke the pretty woman at his side,
almost as soon as she and Robert had started their slow, homeward
way. She looked up in his face, leaning on his arm beneath the
encircling shadow of the umbrella which he had lifted.
"Granted; as many as you like," he returned, glancing down
into her eyes that were full of thoughtfulness and some
"I only ask for one; let Mrs. Pontellier alone."
"Tiens!" he exclaimed, with a sudden, boyish laugh.
"Voila que Madame Ratignolle est jalouse!"
Awakening & Selected Short Stories