|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
Early one morning, before Christopher Newman was dressed, a little old
man was ushered into his apartment, followed by a youth in a blouse,
bearing a picture in a brilliant frame. Newman, among the distractions
of Paris, had forgotten M. Nioche and his accomplished daughter;
but this was an effective reminder.
"I am afraid you had given me up, sir," said the old man, after many
apologies and salutations. "We have made you wait so many days.
You accused us, perhaps, of inconstancy of bad faith.
But behold me at last! And behold also the pretty Madonna.
Place it on a chair, my friend, in a good light, so that monsieur
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
"shut up, you crazy do-do, ain't we coming fast as we can?"
The dory bumped alongside, and the Captain was over the rail like
quicksilver. The hands were all in the bow, looking and pointing
to the west. Jim slid down the ratlines, bubbling over with
suppressed news. Before his feet had touched the deck Kitchell
had kicked him into the stays again, fulminating blasphemies.
"Sing!" he shouted, as the Chinaman clambered away like a
bewildered ape; "sing a little more. I would if I were you. Why
don't you sing and wave, you dam' fool philly-loo bird?"
"Yas, sah," answered the coolie.
"What you yell for? Charlie, ask him whaffo him sing."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne:
As this did not amount to an absolute surrender of my bed-chamber,
I still felt myself so much the proprietor, as to have a right to
do the honours of it; - so I desired the lady to sit down, -
pressed her into the warmest seat, - called for more wood, -
desired the hostess to enlarge the plan of the supper, and to
favour us with the very best wine.
The lady had scarce warm'd herself five minutes at the fire, before
she began to turn her head back, and give a look at the beds; and
the oftener she cast her eyes that way, the more they return'd
perplexd; - I felt for her - and for myself: for in a few minutes,
what by her looks, and the case itself, I found myself as much
|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 Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:
upon his frame, awestruck I consented to listen, and sat still.
"It is well that you do so, for my time is short. Here is my will,
legally drawn up, and you will see that I have committed an immense
property to your discretion. Here, again, is a paper still more
important in my eyes; it is also testamentary, and binds you to
duties which may not be so easy to execute as the disposal of my
property. But now listen to something else, which concerns neither
of these papers. Promise me, in the first place, solemnly, that
whenever I die you will see me buried in the same grave as my wife,
from whose funeral we are just returned. Promise."--I promised.--
"Swear."--I swore.--"Finally, promise me that, when you read this