|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne:
but he seemed not to understand me, and my situation
became more embarrassing.
"If master were to tell our story," said Conseil, "perhaps these gentlemen
may understand some words."
I began to tell our adventures, articulating each syllable clearly,
and without omitting one single detail. I announced our names and rank,
introducing in person Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil,
and master Ned Land, the harpooner.
The man with the soft calm eyes listened to me quietly,
even politely, and with extreme attention; but nothing in
his countenance indicated that he had understood my story.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lady Susan by Jane Austen:
the evening before. It is undoubtedly better to deceive him entirely, and
since he will be stubborn he must be tricked. I arrived here in safety, and
have no reason to complain of my reception from Mr. Vernon; but I confess
myself not equally satisfied with the behaviour of his lady. She is
perfectly well-bred, indeed, and has the air of a woman of fashion, but her
manners are not such as can persuade me of her being prepossessed in my
favour. I wanted her to be delighted at seeing me. I was as amiable as
possible on the occasion, but all in vain. She does not like me. To be sure
when we consider that I DID take some pains to prevent my brother-in-law's
marrying her, this want of cordiality is not very surprizing, and yet it
shows an illiberal and vindictive spirit to resent a project which
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heroes by Charles Kingsley:
the throat, and they fell and rolled over together; but when
Theseus rose up from the ground the club-bearer lay still at
Then Theseus took his club and his bearskin, and left him to
the kites and crows, and went upon his journey down the glens
on the farther slope, till he came to a broad green valley,
and saw flocks and herds sleeping beneath the trees.
And by the side of a pleasant fountain, under the shade of
rocks and trees, were nymphs and shepherds dancing; but no
one piped to them while they danced.
And when they saw Theseus they shrieked; and the shepherds
|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 Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
Malvina to marry. A cold shiver ran through Rastignac at the sight of
so many happy folk in Paris going to and fro unconscious of the
impending loss; even so a young commander might shiver at the first
sight of an army drawn up before a battle. He saw the d'Aiglemonts,
the d'Aldriggers, and Beaudenord. Poor little Isaure and Godefroid
playing at love, what were they but Acis and Galatea under the rock
which a hulking Polyphemus was about to send down upon them?"
"That monkey of a Bixiou has something almost like talent," said
"Oh! so I am not maundering now?" asked Bixiou, enjoying his success
as he looked round at his surprised auditors.--"For two months past,"