|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte:
called agreeable, in outward aspect; but, certainly, he was not
In stature he was a little, a very little, above the middle size;
the outline of his face would be pronounced too square for beauty,
but to me it announced decision of character; his dark brown hair
was not carefully curled, like Mr. Hatfield's, but simply brushed
aside over a broad white forehead; the eyebrows, I suppose, were
too projecting, but from under those dark brows there gleamed an
eye of singular power, brown in colour, not large, and somewhat
deep-set, but strikingly brilliant, and full of expression; there
was character, too, in the mouth, something that bespoke a man of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
I felt suddenly ashamed of myself. I may say truly that I understood--
and my hesitation in letting that man swim away from my ship's side
had been a mere sham sentiment, a sort of cowardice.
"It can't be done now till next night," I breathed out.
"The ship is on the off-shore tack and the wind may fail us."
"As long as I know that you understand," he whispered.
"But of course you do. It's a great satisfaction to have got
somebody to understand. You seem to have been there on purpose."
And in the same whisper, as if we two whenever we talked had to say
things to each other which were not fit for the world to hear,
he added, "It's very wonderful."
The Secret Sharer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Across The Plains by Robert Louis Stevenson:
air and the light are very free below their stretching boughs. In
the other the trees find difficult footing; castles of white rock
lie tumbled one upon another, the foot slips, the crooked viper
slumbers, the moss clings in the crevice; and above it all the
great beech goes spiring and casting forth her arms, and, with a
grace beyond church architecture, canopies this rugged chaos.
Meanwhile, dividing the two cantons, the broad white causeway of
the Paris road runs in an avenue: a road conceived for pageantry
and for triumphal marches, an avenue for an army; but, its days of
glory over, it now lies grilling in the sun between cool groves,
and only at intervals the vehicle of the cruising tourist is seen
|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 Copy-Cat & Other Stories by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
dust of the platform her dress-skirt. A glimpse of
a silk frilled petticoat, of slender feet, and ankles
delicately slim, was visible before the onslaught of
the wind. Jane Carew made no futile effort to keep
her skirts down before the wind-gusts. She was so
much of the gentlewoman that she could be gravely
oblivious to the exposure of her ankles. She looked
as if she had never heard of ankles when her black
silk skirts lashed about them. She rose superbly
above the situation. For some abstruse reason Mar-
garet's skirts were not affected by the wind. They