|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Case of the Registered Letter by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
Graumann to pass out. There was silence in the room, as the two men
looked after the quaint little figure slowly descending the stairs.
"A brave little woman," murmured the commissioner.
"It is not only the mother in the flesh who knows what a mother's
love is," added Muller.
Next morning Joseph Muller stood in the cell of the prison in G-
confronting Albert Graumann, accused of the murder of John Siders.
The detective had just come from a rather difficult interview with
Commissioner Lange. But the latter, though not a brilliant man, was
at least good-natured. He acknowledged the right of the accused and
his family to ask for outside assistance, and agreed with Muller
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson:
the same time, if you care to glance at it, and have the time, I
should be very glad of your opinion as to whether I have made any
step at all towards possibly inducing folk at home to read matter
so extraneous and outlandish. I become heavy and owlish; years sit
upon me; it begins to seem to me to be a man's business to leave
off his damnable faces and say his say. Else I could have made it
pungent and light and lively. In considering, kindly forget that I
am R. L. S.; think of the four chapters as a book you are reading,
by an inhabitant of our 'lovely but fatil' islands; and see if it
could possibly amuse the hebetated public. I have to publish
anyway, you understand; I have a purpose beyond; I am concerned for
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
As the old loyalist concluded his narrative, the
enthusiasm which had been fitfully flashing within his sunken
eyes, and quivering across his wrinkled visage, faded away, as if
all the lingering fire of his soul were extinguished. Just then,
too, a lamp upon the mantel-piece threw out a dying gleam, which
vanished as speedily as it shot upward, compelling our eyes to
grope for one another's features by the dim glow of the hearth.
With such a lingering fire, methought, with such a dying gleam,
had the glory of the ancient system vanished from the Province
House, when the spirit of old Esther Dudley took its flight. And
now, again, the clock of the Old South threw its voice of ages on
Twice Told Tales
|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 Country Doctor by Honore de Balzac:
"The evening is too far gone," said the postman, "and I do not care
about cutting short the story of a victory."
"Never mind, let us hear about it all the same! We know the stories,
for we have heard you tell them many a time; but it is always a
pleasure to hear them."
"Tell us about the Emperor!" cried several voices at once.
"You will have it?" answered Goguelat. "Very good, but you will see
that there is no sense in the story when it is gone through at a
gallop. I would rather tell you all about a single battle. Shall it be
Champ-Aubert, where we ran out of cartridges, and furbished them just