|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton:
carried her own parcels home--was the most distinguished and
interesting figure on their horizon. She was youngish, she was
elegant (as the title they had given her implied), and she had a
sweet sad smile about which they had woven many histories; but even
the news of her return to town--it was her first apparition that
year--failed to arouse Ann Eliza's interest. All the small daily
happenings which had once sufficed to fill the hours now appeared
to her in their deadly insignificance; and for the first time in
her long years of drudgery she rebelled at the dullness of her
life. With Evelina such fits of discontent were habitual and
openly proclaimed, and Ann Eliza still excused them as one of the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Foolish Virgin by Thomas Dixon:
"Yes. I call this park my country estate. It
costs me nothing to keep it in perfect order. The city
pays for it all. But I own it. Every tree and shrub
and flower and blade of grass, every statue and bird
and animal in it is mine. I couldn't get more joy out
of them if I had them inclosed behind an iron fence,
and the deed to the land in my pocket--not half as
much, for I'd be lonely and miserable without someone
to see and enjoy it all with me."
"Gee, that's so, ain't it? I never looked at it
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
Fierce, fur-bearing creatures attacked us by daylight and by dark.
Never for a moment were we safe from the sudden charge of some huge
demon of the north.
The apt was our most consistent and dangerous foe.
It is a huge, white-furred creature with six limbs, four of which,
short and heavy, carry it swiftly over the snow and ice;
while the other two, growing forward from its shoulders on either
side of its long, powerful neck, terminate in white, hairless hands,
with which it seizes and holds its prey.
The Warlord of Mars
|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 Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
Hamilcar strained his ears for some minutes in constant fear of seeing
them return. He then thought of getting rid of the slave in order to
be quite sure that he would see nothing; but the peril had not wholly
disappeared, and, if the gods were provoked at the man's death, it
might be turned against his son. Then, changing his intention, he sent
him by Taanach the best from his kitchens--a quarter of a goat, beans,
and preserved pomegranates. The slave, who had eaten nothing for a
long time, rushed upon them; his tears fell into the dishes.
Hamilcar at last returned to Salammbo, and unfastened Hannibal's
cords. The child in exasperation bit his hand until the blood came. He