|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
"Don't you know, my little friend, that a ceiling painted by so great
a master as yours is worth its weight in gold?" replied the count. "If
the civil list paid you, as it did, thirty thousand francs for each of
those rooms in the Louvre," he continued, addressing Schinner, "a
bourgeois,--as you call us in the studios--ought certainly to pay you
twenty thousand. Whereas, if you go to this chateau as a humble
decorator, you will not get two thousand."
"The money is not the greatest loss," said Mistigris. "The work is
sure to be a masterpiece, but he can't sign it, you know, for fear of
"Ah! I'd return all my crosses to the sovereigns who gave them to me
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:
then this final doubt expressed after only two visits which could
not have included more than six hours altogether and this some
three years ago! But it is Henry Allegre that you should ask this
question, Mr. Mills."
"I haven't the secret of raising the dead," answered Mills good
humouredly. "And if I had I would hesitate. It would seem such a
liberty to take with a person one had known so slightly in life."
"And yet Henry Allegre is the only person to ask about her, after
all this uninterrupted companionship of years, ever since he
discovered her; all the time, every breathing moment of it, till,
literally, his very last breath. I don't mean to say she nursed
The Arrow of Gold
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Burning Daylight by Jack London:
cache, and what they had not eaten they had destroyed.
"They plumb e't all the bacon and prunes and sugar and dog-food,"
Elijah reported, "and gosh darn my buttons, if they didn't gnaw
open the sacks and scatter the flour and beans and rice from Dan
to Beersheba. I found empty sacks where they'd dragged them a
quarter of a mile away."
Nobody spoke for a long minute. It was nothing less than a
catastrophe, in the dead of an Arctic winter and in a
game-abandoned land, to lose their grub. They were not
panic-stricken, but they were busy looking the situation squarely
in the face and considering. Joe Hines was the first to speak.
|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 Yates Pride by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
The boy, who was raking dry leaves, stood gazing at them with a
shrewd, whimsical expression. He was the old man's grandson.
"Is that a boy or a girl kid, grandpa?" he inquired, when the
"Hold your tongue!" replied the old man, irascibly. Suddenly he
seized the boy by his two thin little shoulders with knotted old
"Look at here, Tommy, whatever you know, you keep your mouth
shet, and whatever you don't know, you keep your mouth shet, if
you know what's good for you," he said, in a fierce whisper.
The boy whistled and shrugged his shoulders loose. "You know I