|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Exiles by Honore de Balzac:
by the nostrils. The bones of the face were strongly marked by the
long, straight wrinkles that furrowed the hollow cheeks. Every line in
the countenance looked dark. It would suggest the bed of a torrent
where the violence of former floods was recorded in the depth of the
water-courses, which testified to some terrible, unceasing turmoil.
Like the ripples left by the oars of a boat on the waters, deep lines,
starting from each side of his nose, marked his face strongly, and
gave an expression of bitter sadness to his mouth, which was firm and
straight-lipped. Above the storm thus stamped on his countenance, his
calm brow rose with what may be called boldness, and crowned it as
with a marble dome.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy:
not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need. . .not as a call to battle. . .
though embattled we are. . .but a call to bear the burden of a long
twilight struggle. . .year in and year out, rejoicing in hope,
patient in tribulation. . .a struggle against the common enemies of man:
tyranny. . .poverty. . .disease. . .and war itself. Can we forge against
these enemies a grand and global alliance. . .North and South. . .
East and West. . .that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind?
Will you join in that historic effort?
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted
the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger; I do not shrink
from this responsibility. . .I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton:
worm; now I will put on a minnow, and try a quarter of an hour about
yonder trees for another; and, so, walk towards our lodging. Look you,
scholar, thereabout we shall have a bite presently, or not at all. Have
with you, Sir: o' my word I have hold of him. Oh! it is a great logger-
headed Chub; come, hang him upon that willow twig, and let's be
going. But turn out of the way a little, good scholar! toward yonder high
honeysuckle hedge; there we'll sit and sing whilst this shower falls so
gently upon the teeming earth, and gives yet a sweeter smell to the
lovely flowers that adorn these verdant meadows.
Look ! under that broad beech-tree I sat down, when I was last this way
a-fishing; and the birds in the adjoining grove seemed to have a friendly
|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 Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy:
away with a sigh, and seemed to stand, aimless and lonely, now that
Suzanne's dainty little figure had disappeared in the crowd.
She watched him as he strolled towards the doorway, which led
to a small boudoir beyond, then paused and leaned against the
framework of it, looking still anxiously all round him.
Marguerite contrived for the moment to evade her present
attentive cavalier, and she skirted the fashionable crowd, drawing
nearer to the doorway, against which Sir Andrew was leaning. Why she
wished to get closer to him, she could not have said: perhaps she was
impelled by an all-powerful fatality, which so often seems to rule the
destinies of men.
The Scarlet Pimpernel