|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Silas Marner by George Eliot:
inexplicable surprise and a hurrying influx of memories. How and
when had the child come in without his knowledge? He had never been
beyond the door. But along with that question, and almost thrusting
it away, there was a vision of the old home and the old streets
leading to Lantern Yard--and within that vision another, of the
thoughts which had been present with him in those far-off scenes.
The thoughts were strange to him now, like old friendships
impossible to revive; and yet he had a dreamy feeling that this
child was somehow a message come to him from that far-off life: it
stirred fibres that had never been moved in Raveloe--old
quiverings of tenderness--old impressions of awe at the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Philosophy 4 by Owen Wister:
eye wandered back to it, although Mr. Diggs had become full of anecdotes
about the Civil War. It was partly Grecian: a knot stood out behind to
a considerable distance. But this was not the whole plan. From front to
back ran a parting, clear and severe, and curls fell from this to the
temples in a manner called, I believe, by the enlightened, a l'Anne
d'Autriche. The color was gray, to be sure; but this propriety did not
save the structure from Billy's increasing observation. As bottles came
to stand on the table in greater numbers, the closer and the more
solemnly did Billy continue to follow the movements of Mrs. Diggs. They
would without doubt have noticed him and his foreboding gravity but for
Mr. Diggs's experiences in the Civil War.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
Davout did not know that he was adjutant general to the Emperor
Alexander and even his envoy to Napoleon, Balashev hastened to
inform him of his rank and mission. Contrary to his expectation,
Davout, after hearing him, became still surlier and ruder.
"Where is your dispatch?" he inquired. "Give it to me. I will send
it to the Emperor."
Balashev replied that he had been ordered to hand it personally to
"Your Emperor's orders are obeyed in your army, but here," said
Davout, "you must do as you're told."
And, as if to make the Russian general still more conscious of his
War and Peace
|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 Turn of the Screw by Henry James:
my exultation would have broken out. "They're here, they're here,
you little wretches," I would have cried, "and you can't deny it now!"
The little wretches denied it with all the added volume of their
sociability and their tenderness, in just the crystal depths of which--
like the flash of a fish in a stream--the mockery of their advantage
peeped up. The shock, in truth, had sunk into me still deeper
than I knew on the night when, looking out to see either Quint
or Miss Jessel under the stars, I had beheld the boy over whose
rest I watched and who had immediately brought in with him--
had straightway, there, turned it on me--the lovely upward look with which,
from the battlements above me, the hideous apparition of Quint had played.