|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
Terror, hot terror, began to play about Byrne's heart like a tongue
of flame that touches and withdraws before it turns a thing to
ashes. He backed away from the body as far as he could, then came
forward stealthily casting fearful glances to steal another look at
the bruised forehead. There would perhaps be such a faint bruise
on his own forehead - before the morning.
"I can't bear it," he whispered to himself. Tom was for him now an
object of horror, a sight at once tempting and revolting to his
fear. He couldn't bear to look at him.
At last, desperation getting the better of his increasing horror,
he stepped forward from the wall against which he had been leaning,
Within the Tides
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:
pitch of passion and belief.
She withdrew her hand hastily, with a magnificent movement full of
varied emotions. If she had said in words: "Stop, or I shall die," she
could not have spoken more plainly. She remained for a moment with her
eyes in d'Arthez's eyes, expressing in that one glance happiness,
prudery, fear, confidence, languor, a vague longing, and virgin
modesty. She was twenty years old! but remember, she had prepared for
this hour of comic falsehood by the choicest art of dress; she was
there in her armchair like a flower, ready to blossom at the first
kiss of sunshine. True or false, she intoxicated Daniel.
It if is permissible to risk a personal opinion we must avow that it
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
at a very high rate of speed for that epoch of railroad travel,
but to my anxious mind it was moving far too slowly. Minutes were hours,
and hours were days during this part of my flight. After Maryland,
I was to pass through Delaware--another slave State, where slave-catchers
generally awaited their prey, for it was not in the interior of the State,
but on its borders, that these human hounds were most vigilant and active.
The border lines between slavery and freedom were the dangerous ones
for the fugitives. The heart of no fox or deer, with hungry hounds
on his trail in full chase, could have beaten more anxiously or noisily
than did mine from the time I left Baltimore till I reached Philadelphia.
The passage of the Susquehanna River at Havre de Grace was at that time
|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 Daisy Miller by Henry James:
say to her about his aunt's refusal to become acquainted with her;
but he discovered, promptly enough, that with Miss Daisy Miller there
was no great need of walking on tiptoe. He found her that evening in
the garden, wandering about in the warm starlight like an indolent sylph,
and swinging to and fro the largest fan he had ever beheld.
It was ten o'clock. He had dined with his aunt, had been sitting with
her since dinner, and had just taken leave of her till the morrow.
Miss Daisy Miller seemed very glad to see him; she declared it
was the longest evening she had ever passed.
"Have you been all alone?" he asked.
"I have been walking round with mother. But mother gets tired