|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
of an Italian cabinet. "What ought I to do? You're just the
fellow to advise me." He felt the blood in his cheek as he spoke.
Flamel sat with meditative eye. "What do you WANT to do with
them?" he asked.
"I want to publish them," said Glennard, swinging round with
sudden energy--"If I can--"
"If you can? They're yours, you say?"
"They're mine fast enough. There's no one to prevent--I mean
there are no restrictions--" he was arrested by the sense that
these accumulated proofs of impunity might precisely stand as the
strongest check on his action.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
very uneasy, the children are crying. . . . They thought, your
honor, that you had gone back to the town again. Show us the
heavenly mercy, our benefactors! . . ."
The doctor and the examining magistrate said nothing, got into
the sledge, and drove to Syrnya.
THE FIRST-CLASS PASSENGER
A FIRST-CLASS passenger who had just dined at the station and
drunk a little too much lay down on the velvet-covered seat,
stretched himself out luxuriously, and sank into a doze. After a
nap of no more than five minutes, he looked with oily eyes at
his _vis-a-vis,_ gave a smirk, and said:
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
world to whom the fears and hopes and joys of her life could be
The late Comte de Dey was the last surviving scion of his family, and
she herself was the sole heiress of her own. Human interests and
projects combined, therefore, with the noblest deeds of the soul to
exalt in this mother's heart a sentiment that is always so strong in
the hearts of women. She had brought up this son with the utmost
difficulty, and with infinite pains, which rendered the youth still
dearer to her; a score of times the doctors had predicted his death,
but, confident in her own presentiments, her own unfailing hope, she
had the happiness of seeing him come safely through the perils of
|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 A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:
hours, always either before sun-rising or after sun-setting, with the
privity of the churchwardens or constable, and not otherwise; and that
no neighbours nor friends be suffered to accompany the corpse to
church, or to enter the house visited, upon pain of having his house
shut up or be imprisoned.
'And that no corpse dying of infection shall be buried, or remain in
any church in time of common prayer, sermon, or lecture. And that
no children be suffered at time of burial of any corpse in any church,
churchyard, or burying-place to come near the corpse, coffin, or grave.
And that all the graves shall be at least six feet deep.
'And further, all public assemblies at other burials are to be
A Journal of the Plague Year