|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Glasses by Henry James:
and I asked a question or two which led my companion again to apply
to him the invidious term I have already quoted. What had happened
was simply that Flora had at the eleventh hour broken down in the
attempt to put him off with an uncandid account of her infirmity
and that his lordship's interest in her had not been proof against
the discovery of the way she had practised on him. Her
dissimulation, he was obliged to perceive, had been infernally
deep. The future in short assumed a new complexion for him when
looked at through the grim glasses of a bride who, as he had said
to some one, couldn't really, when you came to find out, see her
hand before her face. He had conducted himself like any other
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:
as soon as the poet had become so famous as to be summoned to
court, the stern father relented, and, as it was a case of
undoubted affection, which the Chinese readily appreciate they
have always had the sympathy of the whole Chinese people.
One of the most popular women in Chinese history is Mu Lan, the
A Chinese Joan of Arc. Her father, a great general, being too old
to take charge of his troops, and her brothers too young, she
dressed herself in boy's clothing, enrolled herself in the army,
mounted her father's trusty steed, and led his soldiers to
battle, thus bringing honor to herself and renown upon her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:
from his feet heavily. As he raised his flute to his lips, his blanket
slipped from his well-formed shoulders, and lay partly on the snow beneath.
He began his weird, wild love-song, but soon felt that he was cold,
and as he reached back for his blanket, some unseen hand laid it gently
on his shoulders; it was the hand of his love, his guardian angel.
She took her place beside him, and for the present they were happy;
for the Indian has a heart to love, and in this pride he is as noble
as in his own freedom, which makes him the child of the forest.
As the legend runs, a large white-bear, thinking, perhaps, that polar snows
and dismal winter weather extended everywhere, took up his journey southward.
He at length approached the northern shore of the lake which now bears
|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 La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:
the sole possessor, but I listened.
" 'Monsieur,' said she, 'when the Emperor sent the Spaniards here,
prisoners of war and others, I was required to lodge at the charge of
the Government a young Spaniard sent to Vendome on parole.
Notwithstanding his parole, he had to show himself every day to the
sub-prefect. He was a Spanish grandee--neither more nor less. He had a
name in /os/ and /dia/, something like Bagos de Feredia. I wrote his
name down in my books, and you may see it if you like. Ah! he was a
handsome young fellow for a Spaniard, who are all ugly they say. He
was not more than five feet two or three in height, but so well made;
and he had little hands that he kept so beautifully! Ah! you should
La Grande Breteche