|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather:
bluish flame, while the coals crackled and the
clock ticked and a street vendor began to call
under the window. At last Alexander brought
out one word:--
Hilda was pale by this time, and her
eyes were wide with fright. She looked about
desperately from Bartley to the door, then to
the windows, and back again to Bartley. She
rose uncertainly, touched his hair with her
hand, then sank back upon her stool.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Copy-Cat & Other Stories by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
Annie laughed. "Oh, I shall do what I have seen
other girls do -- get ready to be married."
"That means sewing, lots of hemming and tucking
and stitching, doesn't it?"
"Girls are so funny," said Tom. "Now imagine a
man sitting right down and sewing like mad on his
collars and neckties and shirts the minute a girl
said she'd marry him!"
"Girls like it."
"Well, I suppose they do," said Tom, and he
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
voice said from behind him, while again the tradesman hastened to
remove his cap. "Pray come home with me, for I have something to say
Chichikov scanned the speaker's face, but could make nothing of it.
Paying the tradesman for the cloth, he left the shop.
Meanwhile Murazov had conveyed Khlobuev to his rooms.
"Tell me," he said to his guest, "exactly how your affairs stand. I
take it that, after all, your aunt left you something?"
"It would be difficult to say whether or not my affairs are improved,"
replied Khlobuev. "True, fifty souls and thirty thousand roubles came
to me from Madame Khanasarova, but I had to pay them away to satisfy
|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 Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft:
expressed, what he termed the first and fondest wish of his heart,
"that his affection might make her some amends for the cruelty and
injustice she had endured," inspired a sentiment of gratitude to
heaven; and her eyes filled with delicious tears, when, at the
conclusion of his letter, wishing to supply the place of her unworthy
relations, whose want of principle he execrated, he assured her,
calling her his dearest girl, "that it should henceforth be the
business of his life to make her happy."
He begged, in a note sent the following morning, to be permitted
to see her, when his presence would be no intrusion on her grief,
and so earnestly intreated to be allowed, according to promise, to