|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:
"Well, come and learn," he cried gaily, returning upon his steps.
"Come in by the little gate above."
The count walked back along the hedge, he being within it and I
"You will learn nothing from Monsieur de Chessel," he remarked; "he is
altogether too fine a gentleman to do more than receive the reports of
The count then showed me his yards and the farm buildings, the
pleasure-grounds, orchards, vineyards, and kitchen garden, until we
finally came to the long alley of acacias and ailanthus beside the
The Lily of the Valley
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Black Dwarf by Walter Scott:
"Over thine," retorted the Dwarf, more splenetically than became
a philosopher or hermit, "folly exercises an unlimited empire,
asleep or awake."
"Lord bless us!" said the lady, "he's a prophet, sure enough."
"As surely," continued the Recluse," as thou art a woman.--A
woman!--I should have said a lady--a fine lady. You asked me to
tell your fortune--it is a simple one; an endless chase through
life after follies not worth catching, and, when caught,
successively thrown away--a chase, pursued from the days of
tottering infancy to those of old age upon his crutches. Toys
and merry-makings in childhood--love and its absurdities in
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Little Britain by Washington Irving:
Lane and Hatton Garden; and not less than three Aldermen's
ladies with their daughters. This was not to be forgotten or
forgiven. All Little Britain was in an uproar with the smacking
of whips, the lashing of miserable horses, and the rattling and
the jingling of hackney coaches. The gossips of the
neighborhood might be seen popping their nightcaps out at
every window, watching the crazy vehicles rumble by; and
there was a knot of virulent old cronies, that kept a lookout
from a house just opposite the retired butcher's, and scanned
and criticised every one that knocked at the door.
This dance was a cause of almost open war, and the whole
|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 Long Odds by H. Rider Haggard:
the night. No beast was moving, and no bird called. Not a breath of
air stirred the quiet trees, and the shadows did not even quiver, they
only grew. It was very oppressive and very lonely, for there was not a
sign of the cattle or the boys. I was quite thankful for the society of
old Kaptein, who was lying down contentedly against the disselboom,
chewing the cud with a good conscience.
"Presently, however, Kaptein began to get restless. First he snorted,
then he got up and snorted again. I could not make it out, so like a
fool I got down off the waggon-box to have a look round, thinking it
might be the lost oxen coming.
"Next instant I regretted it, for all of a sudden I heard a roar and saw