|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Georgics by Virgil:
Would set me in deep dells of Haemus cool,
And shield me with his boughs' o'ershadowing might!
Happy, who had the skill to understand
Nature's hid causes, and beneath his feet
All terrors cast, and death's relentless doom,
And the loud roar of greedy Acheron.
Blest too is he who knows the rural gods,
Pan, old Silvanus, and the sister-nymphs!
Him nor the rods of public power can bend,
Nor kingly purple, nor fierce feud that drives
Brother to turn on brother, nor descent
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Emma McChesney & Co. by Edna Ferber:
a long time, her eyes shut. She told herself that she felt and
looked very old, very tired, very unlike the Emma McChesney Buck
who had left New York a few weeks before. Then she thought of T.
A., and her eyes unclosed and she smiled. By the time the train
had reached Cleveland the little lines seemed miraculously to
have disappeared, somehow, from about her eyes. When they left
the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street station she was a
creature transformed. And when the train rolled into the great
down-town shed, Emma was herself again, bright-eyed, alert,
There was no searching, no hesitation. Her eyes met his, and his
Emma McChesney & Co.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Confidence by Henry James:
serious looks with which her face was occasionally ornamented.
"If you want really to know, then--can't you see that your remorse seemed to
me connected in a certain way with your affection; a sort of guarantee of it?
You thought you had injured some one or other, and that seemed to be mixed up
with your loving me, and therefore I let it alone."
"Ah," said Bernard, "my remorse is all gone, and yet I think
I love you about as much as ever! So you see how wrong you
were not to tell me."
"The wrong to you I don't care about. It is very true I might have told
you for Mr. Wright's sake. It would perhaps have made him look better.
But as you never attacked him for deserting me, it seemed needless for me
|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 Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:
appreciation of man's foibles and mingled and inconstant motives;
and third, the dramatic novel, which deals with the same stuff as
the serious theatre, and appeals to our emotional nature and moral
And first for the novel of adventure. Mr. James refers, with
singular generosity of praise, to a little book about a quest for
hidden treasure; but he lets fall, by the way, some rather
startling words. In this book he misses what he calls the "immense
luxury" of being able to quarrel with his author. The luxury, to
most of us, is to lay by our judgment, to be submerged by the tale
as by a billow, and only to awake, and begin to distinguish and