|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Turn of the Screw by Henry James:
It was for the instant confounding and bottomless, for if he
WERE innocent, what then on earth was _I_? Paralyzed, while it lasted,
by the mere brush of the question, I let him go a little, so that,
with a deep-drawn sigh, he turned away from me again; which, as he faced
toward the clear window, I suffered, feeling that I had nothing
now there to keep him from. "And did they repeat what you said?"
I went on after a moment.
He was soon at some distance from me, still breathing hard and again with
the air, though now without anger for it, of being confined against his will.
Once more, as he had done before, he looked up at the dim day as if, of what
had hitherto sustained him, nothing was left but an unspeakable anxiety.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Heroes by Charles Kingsley:
the Dolions, who, the songs say, was the son of AEneas, of
whom you will hear many a tale some day. For Homer tells us
how he fought at Troy, and Virgil how he sailed away and
founded Rome; and men believed until late years that from him
sprang our old British kings. Now Cyzicus, the songs say,
welcomed the heroes, for his father had been one of Cheiron's
scholars; so he welcomed them, and feasted them, and stored
their ship with corn and wine, and cloaks and rugs, the songs
say, and shirts, of which no doubt they stood in need.
But at night, while they lay sleeping, came down on them
terrible men, who lived with the bears in the mountains, like
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Research Magnificent by H. G. Wells:
into the light before Benham's eyes. Most of them were much older
men than himself, elderly philanderers of whom it seemed to him no
sane man need be jealous, men often of forty or more, but one was a
contemporary, Sir Philip Easton, a man with a touch of Spanish blood
and a suggestion of Spanish fire, who quite manifestly was very much
in love with Amanda and of whom she spoke with a slight perceptible
difference of manner that made Benham faintly uneasy. He was
ashamed of the feeling. Easton it seemed was a man of a peculiarly
fine honour, so that Amanda could trust herself with him to an
extent that would have been inadvisable with men of a commoner
substance, and he had a gift of understanding and sympathy that was
|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 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:
beat the water vigorously with quick, downward strokes,
forcing him to the surface. He felt his head emerge; his
eyes were blinded by the sunlight; his chest expanded
convulsively, and with a supreme and crowning agony his lungs
engulfed a great draught of air, which instantly he expelled
in a shriek!
He was now in full possession of his physical senses. They
were, indeed, preternaturally keen and alert. Something in
the awful disturbance of his organic system had so exalted
and refined them that they made record of things never before
perceived. He felt the ripples upon his face and heard their
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge