|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson:
name the go-by."
James of the Glens turned to me for a moment, and greeted me
courteously enough; the next he had turned to Alan.
"This has been a dreadful accident," he cried. "It will bring
trouble on the country." And he wrung his hands.
"Hoots!" said Alan, "ye must take the sour with the sweet, man.
Colin Roy is dead, and be thankful for that!"
"Ay" said James, "and by my troth, I wish he was alive again!
It's all very fine to blow and boast beforehand; but now it's
done, Alan; and who's to bear the wyte of it? The accident
fell out in Appin -- mind ye that, Alan; it's Appin that must
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:
quitted, having a little plate of dainties always at his left side,
and a bowl of fresh water at his right.
"Well, my pretty," said the vicar, "are you waiting for your coffee?"
The personage thus addressed, one of the most important in the
household, though the least troublesome inasmuch as he had ceased to
bark and left the talking to his mistress, turned his little eyes,
sunk in rolls of fat, upon Birotteau. Then he closed them peevishly.
To explain the misery of the poor vicar it should be said that being
endowed by nature with an empty and sonorous loquacity, like the
resounding of a football, he was in the habit of asserting, without
any medical reason to back him, that speech favored digestion.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
had viewed the transaction solely as it affected himself: as an
unfortunate blemish on an otherwise presentable record. He had
scarcely considered the act in relation to Margaret Aubyn; for
death, if it hallows, also makes innocuous. Glennard's God was a
god of the living, of the immediate, the actual, the tangible; all
his days he had lived in the presence of that god, heedless of the
divinities who, below the surface of our deeds and passions,
silently forge the fatal weapons of the dead.
A knock roused him and looking up he saw his wife. He met her
glance in silence, and she faltered out, "Are you ill?"
|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 1492 by Mary Johntson:
beneath the squat tower, all our people pouring forth from
our poor houses upon the returned and his captive, the
latter had eyes, it seemed to me, but for that bell. A
curious, sardonic look of recognition, appraisal, relinquishment,
sat in the Indian's face. From wrist to wrist of Caonabo
went a bright, short chain. The sun glittered upon the
bracelets and the links. I do not know--there was for a
moment--something in the sound of the bell, something
in the gleam of the manacles, that sent out faint pity and
horror and choking laughter.
All to the Viceroy's house, and Don Alonso sitting with