|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
comfort out of them. To say the truth, I find them dis'eartening."
Alice quite saw what she meant.
"Size," said Mrs. Stubbs. "Give me size. That was what my poor dear
husband was always saying. He couldn't stand anything small. Gave him the
creeps. And, strange as it may seem, my dear"--here Mrs. Stubbs creaked
and seemed to expand herself at the memory--"it was dropsy that carried him
off at the larst. Many's the time they drawn one and a half pints from 'im
at the 'ospital...It seemed like a judgmint."
Alice burned to know exactly what it was that was drawn from him. She
ventured, "I suppose it was water."
But Mrs. Stubbs fixed Alice with her eyes and replied meaningly, "It was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:
of the insurrection of 1832. Captain Fannicot, a bold and impatient
bourgeois, a sort of condottiere of the order of those whom we have
just characterized, a fanatical and intractable governmentalist,
could not resist the temptation to fire prematurely, and the ambition
of capturing the barricade alone and unaided, that is to say,
with his company. Exasperated by the successive apparition of
the red flag and the old coat which he took for the black flag,
he loudly blamed the generals and chiefs of the corps, who were
holding council and did not think that the moment for the decisive
assault had arrived, and who were allowing "the insurrection to fry
in its own fat," to use the celebrated expression of one of them.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
"I should like it very much," she said, primly.
She felt suddenly very lonely, as though he had already gone, and
slightly resentful, not at him but at the way things happened. And
then, too, everyone knew that once a Westerner always a Westerner.
The West always called its children. Not that she put it that way.
But she had a sort of vision, gained from the moving pictures, of a
country of wide spaces and tall mountains, where men wore quaint
clothing and the women rode wild horses and had the dash she knew
she lacked. She was stirred by vague jealousy.
"You may never come back," she said, casually. "After all, you
were born there, and we must seem very quiet to you."
The Breaking Point
|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 Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey:
a possible future. Carley had been told by a Columbia professor that she
was a type of the present age--a modern young woman of materialistic mind.
Be that as it might, she knew many things seemed loosening from the
narrowness and tightness of her character, sloughing away like scales,
exposing a new and strange and susceptible softness of fiber. And this
blank habit of mind, when she did not think, and now realized that she was
not dreaming, seemed to be the body of Carley Burch, and her heart and soul
stripped of a shell. Nerve and emotion and spirit received something from
her surroundings. She absorbed her environment. She felt. It was a
delightful state. But when her own consciousness caused it to elude her,
then she both resented and regretted. Anything that approached permanent
The Call of the Canyon