|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tales and Fantasies by Robert Louis Stevenson:
cabman, and both reviewed the affairs of the nation; so he
still sat, when his master condescended to return, and drive
off at last down-hill, along the curve of Lynedoch Place; but
even so sitting, as he passed the end of his father's street,
he took one glance from between shielding fingers, and beheld
a doctor's carriage at the door.
'Well, just so,' thought he; 'I'll have killed my father!
And this is Christmas-day!'
If Mr. Nicholson died, it was down this same road he must
journey to the grave; and down this road, on the same errand,
his wife had preceded him years before; and many other
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
table and sees the adored of his soul, Annie V----, sitting at the
other end of the room, and faring on the common food of mortals.
Shall she eat the ordinary breakfast while he feasts on dainties?
Do not other sportsmen send their spoils to the ladies whom they
admire? The waiter must bring a hot plate, and take this largest
trout to Miss V---- (Miss Annie, not her sister--make no mistake
The face of Augustus is as solemn as an ebony idol while he plays
his part of Cupid's messenger. The fair Annie affects surprise;
she accepts the offering rather indifferently; her curls drop down
over her cheeks to cover some small confusion. But for an instant
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister:
high-balls--and they have money enough to be drunk straight through the
next world!" He was thoughtful. "They are the classics," he added.
I didn't see that he had gone back to my word. "Roman Empire, you mean?"
"No, the others; the old people we're bidding good-by to. Roman Republic!
Simple lives, gallant deeds, and one great uniting inspiration. Liberty
winning her spurs. They were moulded under that, and they are our true
American classics. Nothing like them will happen again."
"Perhaps," I suggested, "our generation is uneasily living in a 'bad
quarter-of-an-hour'--good old childhood gone, good new manhood not yet
come, and a state of chicken-pox between whiles." And on this I made to
him a much-used and consoling quotation about the old order changing.
|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 Witch, et. al by Anton Chekhov:
to shed tears. "I bet they are calling you to the tavern."
" 'To the tavern,' " Volodka mimicked.
"You'll come back drunk again, you currish Herod," said Lukerya,
looking at him angrily. "Go along, go along, and may you burn up
with vodka, you tailless Satan!"
"You hold your tongue," shouted Volodka.
"They've married me to a fool, they've ruined me, a luckless
orphan, you red-headed drunkard . . ." wailed Lukerya, wiping her
face with a hand covered with dough. "I wish I had never set eyes
Volodka gave her a blow on the ear and went off.