|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:
"Not honoured, mademoiselle; you will confer the honour. To-morrow
at this hour, then, I shall have the felicity to wait upon you."
He bowed again; and again he bore her fingers to his lips, what time
she curtsied. Thereupon, with no more than this formal breaking of
the ice, they parted.
She was a little breathless now, a little dazzled by the beauty of
the man, his princely air, and the confidence of power he seemed to
radiate. Involuntarily almost, she contrasted him with his critic
- the lean and impudent Andre-Louis in his plain brown coat and
steel-buckled shoes - and she felt guilty of an unpardonable offence
in having permitted even one word of that presumptuous criticism.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Europeans by Henry James:
but he abstained from this expression of his sentiments, and they were
in consequence, at the very last, by so much the less comfortable.
It was almost at the very last that he saw her--late the night before she
went to Boston to embark.
"For myself, I wish you might have stayed," he said.
"But not for your own sake."
"I don't make so many differences," said the Baroness.
"I am simply sorry to be going."
"That 's a much deeper difference than mine," Acton declared;
"for you mean you are simply glad!"
Felix parted with her on the deck of the ship. "We shall often
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from O Pioneers! by Willa Cather:
vous. "See here," she brought out at last.
"We borrow the money for six years. Well,
with the money we buy a half-section from
Linstrum and a half from Crow, and a quarter
from Struble, maybe. That will give us up-
wards of fourteen hundred acres, won't it?
You won't have to pay off your mortgages for
six years. By that time, any of this land will be
worth thirty dollars an acre--it will be worth
fifty, but we'll say thirty; then you can sell a
garden patch anywhere, and pay off a debt of
|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 Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:
the prelate, being the younger brother of Baron Eugene de Rastignac,
to whom ties of family and also of affection had long bound the Bishop
of Limoges. Aware of the want of fortune which devoted this young man
to the Church, the bishop took him as his private secretary to give
him time to wait for eventual preferment. The Abbe Gabriel bore a name
which would lead him sooner or later to the highest dignities of the
"Did you go to see him, my son?" asked the bishop.
"Yes, Monseigneur. As soon as I entered his cell the wretched man
hurled the most disgusting epithets at you and at me. He behaved in
such a manner that it was impossible for any priest to remain in his