|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
standing with his elbows on the railing, looking in the direction
of the beautiful girl, and his battered, wrinkled, unpleasantly
beefy face, exhausted by sleepless nights and the jolting of the
train, wore a look of tenderness and of the deepest sadness, as
though in that girl he saw happiness, his own youth, soberness,
purity, wife, children; as though he were repenting and feeling
in his whole being that that girl was not his, and that for him,
with his premature old age, his uncouthness, and his beefy face,
the ordinary happiness of a man and a passenger was as far away
as heaven. . . .
The third bell rang, the whistles sounded, and the train slowly
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
|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:
"How is you gwine to pay it?"
Tom groaned out: "Oh, I don't know; don't ask me such awful questions."
But she stuck to her point until she wearied a confession out of him:
he had been prowling about in disguise, stealing small valuables from
private houses; in fact, he made a good deal of a raid on his fellow
villagers a fortnight before, when he was supposed to be in St. Louis;
but he doubted if he had sent away enough stuff to realize the
required amount, and was afraid to make a further venture in the
present excited state of the town. His mother approved of his conduct,
and offered to help, but this frightened him. He tremblingly ventured
to say that if she would retire from the town he should feel better
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
idiot? or is he one already? Dear friend, why did you not instruct
him as to his behavior before you sent him to me? How many
misfortunes you would have spared me, had you brought him here
yourself as I begged you to do. If Estelle alarmed you, you might
have stayed at Moisselles. However, the thing is done, and there
is no use talking about it.
Adieu; I shall see you soon.
Your devoted servant and friend,
At eight o'clock that evening, Madame Clapart, just returned from a
walk she had taken with her husband, was knitting winter socks for
|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 Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie:
him up, my dear Ivan."
The secretary left the room once more, and returned escorting
"Monsieur Kramenin?" said the latter abruptly.
The Russian, studying him attentively with his pale venomous
"Pleased to meet you," said the American. "I've got some very
important business I'd like to talk over with you, if I can see
you alone." He looked pointedly at the other.
"My secretary, Monsieur Grieber, from whom I have no secrets."
"That may be so--but I have," said Julius dryly. "So I'd be