|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:
have come upon. Who would have believed it? Who would have ever
believed it?' He spoke in a jesting tone, but there was no jest
in his eyes as he looked at me. I read suspicion there and
annoyance, but no jest.
"Well, Mr. Holmes, from the moment that I understood that there
was something about that suite of rooms which I was not to know,
I was all on fire to go over them. It was not mere curiosity,
though I have my share of that. It was more a feeling of duty--a
feeling that some good might come from my penetrating to this
place. They talk of woman's instinct; perhaps it was woman's
instinct which gave me that feeling. At any rate, it was there,
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories by Alice Dunbar:
justice, steals back and skulks about the scene of his crime; the
employee thrown from work hangs about the place of his former
industry; the schoolboy, truant or expelled, peeps in at the
school-gate and taunts the good boys within. M'sieu Fortier was
no exception. Night after night of the performances he climbed
the stairs of the opera and sat, an attentive listener to the
orchestra, with one ear inclined to the stage, and a quizzical
expression on his wrinkled face. Then he would go home, and pat
Minesse, and fondle the violin.
"Ah, Minesse, dose new player! Not one bit can dey play. Such
tones, Minesse, such tones! All the time portemento, oh, so ver'
The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
was to risk fate and make a dash beneath the sentry's nose
for the opposite alley mouth.
"Well, here goes," thought Barney. He had heard that
many of the Austrians were excellent shots. Visions of Bea-
trice, Nebraska, swarmed his memory. They were pleasant
visions, made doubly alluring by the thought that the reali-
ties of them might never again be for him.
He turned once more toward the sounds of pursuit--the
men upon his track could not be over a square away--there
was not an instant to be lost. And then from above him,
upon the opposite side of the alley, came a low: "S-s-t!"
The Mad King
|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 A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:
seven hundred years ago in ferreting out the choicest
nooks and corners in a land as priests have today.
A big hotel crowds the ruins a little, now, and drives
a brisk trade with summer tourists. We descended
into the gorge and had a supper which would have been
very satisfactory if the trout had not been boiled.
The Germans are pretty sure to boil a trout or anything
else if left to their own devices. This is an argument
of some value in support of the theory that they were
the original colonists of the wild islands of the coast
of Scotland. A schooner laden with oranges was wrecked