|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
in the world. When I was a boy, my father told me that it was
by such an air as that that people recognized a Bellegarde.
He called my attention to it. He didn't advise me to cultivate it;
he said that as we grew up it always came of itself.
I supposed it had come to me, because I think I have always
had the feeling. My place in life was made for me, and it
seemed easy to occupy it. But you who, as I understand it,
have made your own place, you who, as you told us the other day,
have manufactured wash-tubs--you strike me, somehow, as a man
who stands at his ease, who looks at things from a height.
I fancy you going about the world like a man traveling
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:
would like to see her on the stage, or successful in the wicked life
she meant her to lead."
"Why doesn't the old man marry her?"
"There was no necessity for it, you see," said the Italian. "And
though old Vyder is not a bad old fellow, I fancy he is sharp enough
to wish to remain the master, while if he once got married--why, the
poor man is afraid of the stone that hangs round every old man's
"Could you send for the girl to come here?" said Madame Hulot. "I
should see her quietly, and find out what could be done--"
The stove-fitter's wife signed to her eldest girl, who ran off. Ten
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde:
nothing like Nature, is there?
LADY WINDERMERE. But what is it, Duchess? Why do you talk to me
about this person?
DUCHESS OF BERWICK. Don't you really know? I assure you we're all
so distressed about it. Only last night at dear Lady Jansen's
every one was saying how extraordinary it was that, of all men in
London, Windermere should behave in such a way.
LADY WINDERMERE. My husband - what has HE got to do with any woman
of that kind?
DUCHESS OF BERWICK. Ah, what indeed, dear? That is the point. He
goes to see her continually, and stops for hours at a time, and
|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:
and a great many doors and windows standing open to the veranda.
These various apertures had, in common, such an accessible,
hospitable air, such a breezy flutter within of light curtains,
such expansive thresholds and reassuring interiors, that our friends
hardly knew which was the regular entrance, and, after hesitating
a moment, presented themselves at one of the windows.
The room within was dark, but in a moment a graceful figure
vaguely shaped itself in the rich-looking gloom, and a lady
came to meet them. Then they saw that she had been seated at
a table writing, and that she had heard them and had got up.
She stepped out into the light; she wore a frank, charming smile,