|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Voice of the City by O. Henry:
tinned, in a rising tone, "had better not hand me a
cigar and say: ' Old man, I can't talk for publication.'
No other city acts in that way. Chicago says, unhes-
itatingly, 'I will;' I Philadelphia says, 'I should;'
New Orleans says, ' I used to;' Louisville says,
'Don't care if I do;' St. Louis says, 'Excuse me;'
Pittsburg says, 'Smoke up.' Now, New York - "
"Very well," said I, "I must go elsewhere and find
I went into a palace, tile-floored, cherub-ceilinged
The Voice of the City
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
dull and arid musings.
Tom Driscoll dropped in, an hour after dark, and said with a
pleasant laugh as he took a seat:
"Hello, we've gone back to the amusements of our days of
neglect and obscurity for consolation, have we?" and he took up
one of the glass strips and held it against the light to inspect it.
"Come, cheer up, old man; there's no use in losing your grip
and going back to this child's play merely because this big
sunspot is drifting across your shiny new disk. It'll pass,
and you'll be all right again"--and he laid the glass down.
"Did you think you could win always?"
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:
She was a sweet creature to those she loved, that Lena Lingard!
At last she sent me away with her soft, slow, renunciatory kiss.
`You aren't sorry I came to see you that time?' she whispered.
`It seemed so natural. I used to think I'd like to be your first sweetheart.
You were such a funny kid!'
She always kissed one as if she were sadly and wisely sending
one away forever.
We said many good-byes before I left Lincoln, but she never tried to hinder
me or hold me back. `You are going, but you haven't gone yet, have you?'
she used to say.
My Lincoln chapter closed abruptly. I went home to my
|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 Helen of Troy And Other Poems by Sara Teasdale:
The times they wake and sleep, for life burns down;
They breathe the calm of death before they die.
The long night ends, the day comes creeping in,
Showing the sorrows that the darkness hid,
The bended head of Christ, the blood, the thorns,
The wall's gray stains of damp, the pallet bed
Where little Sister Marta dreams of saints,
Waking with arms outstretched imploringly
That seek to stay a vision's vanishing.
I never had a vision, yet for me
Our Lady smiled while all the convent slept