|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber:
"I don't know," I gasped, hanging on her words, "what
DO I think?"
"She meets this here Konrad Nirlanger, and
falls with him in love. Und her family is mad! But
schrecklich mad! Forty years old she is, and from a
noble family, and Konrad Nirlanger is only a student from
a university, and he comes from the Volk. Sehr gebildet
he is, but not high born. So-o-o-o-o, she runs with him
away and is married."
Shamelessly I drank it all in. "You don't mean it!
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Passion in the Desert by Honore de Balzac:
The presence of the panther, even asleep, could not fail to produce
the effect which the magnetic eyes of the serpent are said to have on
For a moment the courage of the soldier began to fail before this
danger, though no doubt it would have risen at the mouth of a cannon
charged with shell. Nevertheless, a bold thought brought daylight to
his soul and sealed up the source of the cold sweat which sprang forth
on his brow. Like men driven to bay, who defy death and offer their
body to the smiter, so he, seeing in this merely a tragic episode,
resolved to play his part with honor to the last.
"The day before yesterday the Arabs would have killed me, perhaps," he
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rescue by Joseph Conrad:
his teeth. He took it between his fingers to declare with
persistent acrimony that no amount of "scoundrelly intimidation"
would prevent him from having his usual walk. There was about
three hundred yards to the southward of the yacht a sandbank
nearly a mile long, gleaming a silvery white in the darkness,
plumetted in the centre with a thicket of dry bushes that rustled
very loud in the slightest stir of the heavy night air. The day
after the stranding they had landed on it "to stretch their legs
a bit," as the sailing-master defined it, and every evening
since, as if exercising a privilege or performing a duty, the
three paced there for an hour backward and forward lost in dusky
|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 Lady Susan by Jane Austen:
be evident to you when you have considered our situation in the light in
which I have found myself imperiously obliged to place it. You may be--you
must be--well assured that nothing but the strongest conviction of duty
could induce me to wound my own feelings by urging a lengthened separation,
and of insensibility to yours you will hardly suspect me. Again, therefore,
I say that we ought not, we must not, yet meet. By a removal for some
months from each other we shall tranquillise the sisterly fears of Mrs.
Vernon, who, accustomed herself to the enjoyment of riches, considers
fortune as necessary everywhere, and whose sensibilities are not of a
nature to comprehend ours. Let me hear from you soon--very soon. Tell me
that you submit to my arguments, and do not reproach me for using such. I