|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke:
want to have a talk with you."
The little bookless room, called the study, was the one
that kept its eye on the shop and the business, away down the
street. You could see the brick front, and the plate-glass
windows, and part of the gilt sign.
"Pretty good store," said Mr. Wilson, jingling the keys in
his pocket, "does the biggest trade in the county, biggest but
one in the whole state, I guess. And I must say, Luke Woods,
you've done your share, these last five years, in building it
up. Never had a clerk work so hard and so steady. You've got
good business sense, I guess."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:
the only daughter of the banker, a charming young creature whose
education was then being finished at the Gymnase, the plays of which
she adored. At this moment the guests were in that happy state of
laziness and silence which follows a delicious dinner, especially if
we have presumed too far on our digestive powers. Leaning back in
their chairs, their wrists lightly resting on the edge of the table,
they were indolently playing with the gilded blades of their dessert-
knives. When a dinner comes to this declining moment some guests will
be seen to play with a pear seed; others roll crumbs of bread between
their fingers and thumbs; lovers trace indistinct letters with
fragments of fruit; misers count the stones on their plate and arrange
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Extracts From Adam's Diary by Mark Twain:
make such a spectacle of herself. She did it, and after this we
crept down to where the wild-beast battle had been, and collected
some skins, and I made her patch together a couple of suits proper
for public occasions. They are uncomfortable, it is true, but
stylish, and that is the main point about clothes. ... I find
she is a good deal of a companion. I see I should be lonesome and
depressed without her, now that I have lost my property. Another
thing, she says it is ordered that we work for our living hereafter.
She will be useful. I will superintend.
Ten Days Later
She accuses me of being the cause of our disaster! She says, with
|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 Malbone: An Oldport Romance by Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
struck her; she was not so numb, after all!
As the leaves beside the window drooped motionless in the dank
air, so her mind drooped into a settled depression. She pitied
herself,--that lowest ebb of melancholy self-consciousness. She
went back to Emilia, and, seating herself, studied every line
of the girl's face, the soft texture of her hair, the veining
of her eyelids. They were so lovely, she felt a sort of
physical impulse to kiss them, as if they belonged to some
utter stranger, whom she might be nursing in a hospital. Emilia
looked as innocent as when Hope had tended her in the cradle.
What is there, Hope thought, in sleep, in trance, and in death,