|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Summer by Edith Wharton:
Justice, and get it done there. I'll do whatever you
say." His eyes fell under the merciless stare she
continued to fix on him, and he shifted his weight
uneasily from one foot to the other. As he stood there
before her, unwieldy, shabby, disordered, the purple
veins distorting the hands he pressed against the desk,
and his long orator's jaw trembling with the effort of
his avowal, he seemed like a hideous parody of the
fatherly old man she had always known.
"Marry you? Me?" she burst out with a scornful laugh.
"Was that what you came to ask me the other night?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Emma by Jane Austen:
"I dare say they are, sir. I am sure I do not know who is not."
"Henry is a fine boy, but John is very like his mama. Henry is the eldest,
he was named after me, not after his father. John, the second,
is named after his father. Some people are surprized, I believe,
that the eldest was not, but Isabella would have him called Henry,
which I thought very pretty of her. And he is a very clever boy,
indeed. They are all remarkably clever; and they have so many
pretty ways. They will come and stand by my chair, and say,
`Grandpapa, can you give me a bit of string?' and once Henry asked me
for a knife, but I told him knives were only made for grandpapas.
I think their father is too rough with them very often."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
and a new one was likely to be a change for the worse. The denial
was general. None had stolen anything--not money, anyway--a little sugar,
or cake, or honey, or something like that, that "Marse Percy wouldn't
mind or miss" but not money--never a cent of money. They were eloquent
in their protestations, but Mr. Driscoll was not moved by them.
He answered each in turn with a stern "Name the thief!"
The truth was, all were guilty but Roxana; she suspected that the others
were guilty, but she did not know them to be so. She was horrified
to think how near she had come to being guilty herself; she had been
saved in the nick of time by a revival in the colored Methodist Church,
a fortnight before, at which time and place she "got religion."
|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 Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
great. In the universe there are four that are great, and the (sage)
king is one of them.
4. Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from
Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its
being what it is.
26. 1. Gravity is the root of lightness; stillness, the ruler of
2. Therefore a wise prince, marching the whole day, does not go far
from his baggage waggons. Although he may have brilliant prospects to
look at, he quietly remains (in his proper place), indifferent to
them. How should the lord of a myriad chariots carry himself lightly