|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Frances Waldeaux by Rebecca Davis:
took his bath. The sun shone. What a full, happy world
it was, anyhow! And he had given up the game last night?
Why, life was just beginning for him! He was nothing but
a boy--not yet thirty. He would make a big success soon,
and then try to win--to win---- He stopped, breathless,
looking into the distance, and his eyes slowly grew wet
with passion and longing.
He left the house and struck across the country through
the woodland and farms. He did not know why he went--he
had to go. When he reached the Dunbar woods, he stood in
the thicket for hours, watching the house. She came out
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
Lakes. Fort William. Its Parliamentary Hall and Banqueting
Room. Wassailing in the Wilderness.
TWO leading objects of commercial gain have given birth to wide
and daring enterprise in the early history of the Americas; the
precious metals of the South, and the rich peltries of the North.
While the fiery and magnificent Spaniard, inflamed with the mania
for gold, has extended his discoveries and conquests over those
brilliant countries scorched by the ardent sun of the tropics,
the adroit and buoyant Frenchman, and the cool and calculating
Briton, have pursued the less splendid, but no less lucrative,
traffic in furs amidst the hyperborean regions of the Canadas,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
heart the circumstance revived a ray of hope. Wresting himself with
almost supernatural strength from the grasp of the escorting
gendarmes, he threw himself at the feet of the horror-stricken old
"Paul Ivanovitch," Murazov exclaimed, "what has happened to you?"
"Save me!" gasped Chichikov. "They are taking me away to prison and
Yet almost as he spoke the gendarmes seized him again, and hurried him
away so swiftly that Murazov's reply escaped his ears.
A damp, mouldy cell which reeked of soldiers' boots and leggings, an
unvarnished table, two sorry chairs, a window closed with a grating, a
|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 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:
psalms'; and even the prophet Salomon 'took him into a particular
friendship.' Thus, among their intricate hills, the rustic troop
subsisted; and history can attribute few exploits to them but
sacraments and ecstasies.
People of this tough and simple stock will not, as I have just been
saying, prove variable in religion; nor will they get nearer to
apostasy than a mere external conformity like that of Naaman in the
house of Rimmon. When Louis XVI., in the words of the edict,
'convinced by the uselessness of a century of persecutions, and
rather from necessity than sympathy,' granted at last a royal grace
of toleration, Cassagnas was still Protestant; and to a man, it is