|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:
should go ahead, and the youngest, seating himself sideways with
a dashing air, swung his long knout and shouted to the horses.
The troyka-bells tinkled and the sledge-runners squeaked over the
The sledge swayed hardly at all. The shaft-horse, with his
tightly bound tail under his decorated breechband, galloped
smoothly and briskly; the smooth road seemed to run rapidly
backwards, while the driver dashingly shook the reins. One of
the lawyers and the officer sitting opposite talked nonsense to
Makovkina's neighbour, but Makovkina herself sat motionless and
in thought, tightly wrapped in her fur. 'Always the same and
|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:
according to his or her individual character, whether it be a matter
of two sous' or twenty thousand francs' worth of merchandise. You may
see a cooper, for instance, sitting in his doorway and twirling his
thumbs as he talks with a neighbor. To all appearance he owns nothing
more than a few miserable boat-ribs and two or three bundles of laths;
but below in the port his teeming wood-yard supplies all the cooperage
trade of Anjou. He knows to a plank how many casks are needed if the
vintage is good. A hot season makes him rich, a rainy season ruins
him; in a single morning puncheons worth eleven francs have been known
to drop to six. In this country, as in Touraine, atmospheric
vicissitudes control commercial life. Wine-growers, proprietors, wood-
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
and when you stand on a rock in the midst and look out over the
furry expanse it is so mottled and splashed and gay with color
and frisking sheen and sun-flash, and so rippled with stripes,
that you might think it was a lake, only you know it isn't;
and there's storms of sociable birds, and hurricanes of whirring wings;
and when the sun strikes all that feathery commotion, you have a blazing
up of all the colors you can think of, enough to put your eyes out.
We have made long excursions, and I have see a great deal of the world;
almost all of it, I think; and so I am the first traveler,
and the only one. When we are on the march, it is an imposing sight--
there's nothing like it anywhere. For comfort I ride a tiger
|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 A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde:
MRS. ALLONBY. Oh, anything to get away from the dowagers and the
dowdies. [Rises and goes with LADY STUTFIELD to door L.C.] We are
only going to look at the stars, Lady Hunstanton.
LADY HUNSTANTON. You will find a great many, dear, a great many.
But don't catch cold. [To MRS. ARBUTHNOT.] We shall all miss
Gerald so much, dear Mrs. Arbuthnot.
MRS. ARBUTHNOT. But has Lord Illingworth really offered to make
Gerald his secretary?
LADY HUNSTANTON. Oh, yes! He has been most charming about it. He
has the highest possible opinion of your boy. You don't know Lord