|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Case of the Registered Letter by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
and body to throw it far from me after I have fired the fatal shot.
I think that I will be able to do this, for I am a very good shot
and I have no fear of death. One thing more I will do, to turn
aside all suspicion of suicide. I will write a letter to some
person who does not exist, a letter which will make it appear as if
I were in excellent humour and planning for the future.
And now, good-bye to life. People have called me eccentric, they
may be right. This last deed of mine at least, is out of the
ordinary. No one will say now that ended my life in a moment of
darkened mind, in a rush of despair. My brain is perfectly clear,
my heart beats calmly, now that I have arranged everything for my
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
degrading and fatal misadventure.
Presently, sure enough, and while his captors were still discussing
what to do with him, he took heart of grace, and, with a pretty
steady voice, addressed them.
"My masters," he began, "are ye gone clean foolish? Here hath
Heaven put into your hands as pretty an occasion to grow rich as
ever shipman had - such as ye might make thirty over-sea adventures
and not find again - and, by the mass I what do ye? Beat me? -
nay; so would an angry child! But for long-headed tarry-Johns,
that fear not fire nor water, and that love gold as they love beef,
methinks ye are not wise."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:
whom prudence had been rubbed by repeated personal experience of the
police-courts, induced his master to receive him. Can you see the man
of business, with an uneasy eye, a bald forehead, and scarcely any
hair on his head, standing in his threadbare jacket and muddy boots--"
"What a picture of a Dun!" cried Lousteau.
"--standing before the Count, that image of flaunting Debt, in his
blue flannel dressing-gown, slippers worked by some Marquise or other,
trousers of white woolen stuff, and a dazzling shirt? There he stood,
with a gorgeous cap on his black dyed hair, playing with the tassels
at his waist--"
" 'Tis a bit of genre for anybody who knows what the pretty little
|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 The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:
To hide deceit, and give the harmless show
An humble gait, calm looks, eyes wailing still,
A brow unbent, that seem'd to welcome woe;
Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so
That blushing red no guilty instance gave,
Nor ashy pale the fear that false hearts have.
But, like a constant and confirmed devil,
He entertain'd a show so seeming just,
And therein so ensconc'd his secret evil,
That jealousy itself cold not mistrust
False-creeping craft and perjury should thrust