|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from What is Man? by Mark Twain:
Scotland. It was not difficult for such an intellect to discover
many irresistible arguments in favor of such a scheme. He
conducted the great case of the POST NATI in the Exchequer
Chamber; and the decision of the judges--a decision the legality
of which may be questioned, but the beneficial effect of which
must be acknowledged--was in a great measure attributed to his
While actively engaged in the House of Commons and in the courts
of law, he still found leisure for letters and philosophy.
The noble treatise on the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING, which at a
What is Man?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey:
"Why do you carry it?" she asked.
"Well," he said, "it's not a pretty gun--and it's heavy." She
caught the inference. The gun was not an ornament. His keen,
steady, dark gaze caused her vague alarm. What had once seemed
cool and audacious about this cowboy was now cold and powerful
and mystical. Both her instinct and her intelligence realized
the steel fiber of the man's nature. As she was his employer,
she had the right to demand that he should not do what was so
chillingly manifest that he might do. But Madeline could not
demand. She felt curiously young and weak, and the five months
of Western life were as if they had never been. She now had to
The Light of Western Stars
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
"You mean to leave Monsieur Servin!" exclaimed Ginevra, less affected,
however, by this news than she would have been a month earlier.
"Haven't you noticed, Ginevra, that for some days past you and I have
been alone in the studio?"
"True," said Ginevra, as if struck by a sudden recollection. "Are all
those young ladies ill, or going to be married, or are their fathers
on duty at court?"
"They have left Monsieur Servin," replied Laure.
"On your account, Ginevra."
"My account!" repeated the Corsican, springing up, with a threatening
|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 Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
apparel--which originates or is made in Paris. The name is
supposed to give to the thing a special value in the provinces.
Thus, when he returned to Paris in the intervals of his triumphant
progress through France, he lived a life of perpetual festivity in the
shape of weddings and suppers. When he was in the provinces, the
correspondents in the smaller towns made much of him; in Paris, the
great houses feted and caressed him. Welcomed, flattered, and fed
wherever he went, it came to pass that to breakfast or to dine alone
was a novelty, an event. He lived the life of a sovereign, or, better
still, of a journalist; in fact, he was the perambulating "feuilleton"
of Parisian commerce.