|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay:
red sand dotted with ten or twenty bushes.
He felt a soft, cool touch on the back of his neck. He started
forward in nervous fright and, in doing so, tumbled over onto the
sand. Looking up over his shoulder quickly, he was astounded to see
a woman standing beside him.
She was clothed in a single flowing, pale green garment, rather
classically draped. According to earth standards she was not
beautiful, for, although her face was otherwise human, she was
endowed - or afflicted - with the additional disfiguring organs that
Maskull had discovered in himself. She also possessed the heart
tentacle. But when he sat up, and their eyes met and remained in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
manner than he put on when he looked at me; but I forgive him for
doing homage to beauty in preference to old age--"
"It is quite apparent," said the president in his loud voice, "that
Monsieur Grandet of Paris has sent his son to Saumur with extremely
"But in that case the cousin wouldn't have fallen among us like a
cannon-ball," answered the notary.
"That doesn't prove anything," said Monsieur des Grassins; "the old
miser is always making mysteries."
"Des Grassins, my friend, I have invited the young man to dinner. You
must go and ask Monsieur and Madame de Larsonniere and the du Hautoys,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay:
all his law cases--his defense of Jack Armstrong's son on a
charge of murder. A knot of young men had quarreled one night on
the outskirts of a camp-meeting, one was killed, and suspicion
pointed strongly toward young Armstrong as the murderer. Lincoln,
for old friendship's sake, offered to defend him--an offer most
gratefully accepted by his family. The principal witness swore
that he had seen young Armstrong strike the fatal blow--had seen
him distinctly by the light of a bright moon. Lincoln made him
repeat the statement until it seemed as if he were sealing the
death-warrant of the prisoner. Then Lincoln began his address to
the jury. He was not there as a hired attorney, he told them, but
|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 The Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
yourself by provoking duels----"
"White hairs!" cried the sailor, interrupting him. "You lie in your
throat. They are only gray."
A quarrel thus begun had in a few seconds become so fierce that the
younger man forgot the moderation he had tried to preserve. Just as
the Comte de Kergarouet saw his niece coming back to them with every
sign of the greatest uneasiness, he told his antagonist his name,
bidding him keep silence before the young lady entrusted to his care.
The stranger could not help smiling as he gave a visiting card to the
old man, desiring him to observe that he was living at a country-house
at Chevreuse; and, after pointing this out to him, he hurried away.