|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:
single name in gold and blue letters extending almost its entire
length--a single name, the audacious privilege of royalty and genius.
Doubly, then, was this arrogant nomenclature here justified; for the
name was that of "Alvarita, Queen of the Serpent Tribe." This, her
car, was back from a triumphant tour of the principal Mexican cities,
and now headed for San Antonio, where, according to promissory
advertisement, she would exhibit her "Marvellous Dominion and Fearless
Control over Deadly and Venomous Serpents, Handling them with Ease as
they Coil and Hiss to the Terror of Thousands of Tongue-tied
One hundred in the shade kept the vicinity somewhat depeopled. This
Heart of the West
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
and my merits, I will only say that I have done far more than some
celebrities. And yet here I am in my old age, I am getting ready
for my coffin, so to say, and I am as celebrated as that black dog
yonder running on the embankment."
"How can you tell? Perhaps you are celebrated."
"H'm! Well, we will test it at once. Tell me, have you ever heard
the name Krikunov?"
The _vis-a-vis_ raised his eyes to the ceiling, thought a minute,
"No, I haven't heard it, . . ." he said.
"That is my surname. You, a man of education, getting on in
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Call of the Wild by Jack London:
to save them. They were coated solidly with ice, and the two men
kept them on the run around the fire, sweating and thawing, so
close that they were singed by the flames.
At another time Spitz went through, dragging the whole team after
him up to Buck, who strained backward with all his strength, his
fore paws on the slippery edge and the ice quivering and snapping
all around. But behind him was Dave, likewise straining backward,
and behind the sled was Francois, pulling till his tendons
Again, the rim ice broke away before and behind, and there was no
escape except up the cliff. Perrault scaled it by a miracle,
|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 Dracula by Bram Stoker:
even as you did my poor Lucy's. Were death, or the fear of death,
the only thing that stood in the way I would not shrink to die
here now, amidst the friends who love me. But death is not all.
I cannot believe that to die in such a case, when there is
hope before us and a bitter task to be done, is God's will.
Therefore, I on my part, give up here the certainty of eternal rest,
and go out into the dark where may be the blackest things that
the world or the nether world holds!"
We were all silent, for we knew instinctively that this was only a prelude.
The faces of the others were set, and Harker's grew ashen grey.
Perhaps, he guessed better than any of us what was coming.