|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
The Gondreville Mystery
The Secrets of a Princess
The Seamy Side of History
The Firm of Nucingen
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
leading into a corridor which ran directly down a steep incline.
Without a moment's hesitation Woola jerked me along this rocky passage.
Presently he stopped and released me, standing between me and
the way we had come, looking up into my face as though to ask if I
would now follow him voluntarily or if he must still resort to force.
Looking ruefully at the marks of his great teeth upon my bare arm
I decided to do as he seemed to wish me to do. After all, his strange
instinct might be more dependable than my faulty human judgment.
The Warlord of Mars
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:
proclamation of fashion. Her spotless shirt-waist gladdened the eye in
that desert of sunshine, a swelling oasis, cool and fresh. A man's
split-straw hat sat firmly on her coiled, abundant hair. Beneath her
serene, round, impudent chin a man's four-in-hand tie was jauntily
knotted about a man's high, stiff collar. A parasol she carried, of
white silk, and its fringe was lace, yellowly genuine.
I will grant Gallipolis as to her costume, but firmly to Seville or
Valladolid I am held by her eyes; castanets, balconies, mantillas,
serenades, ambuscades, escapades--all these their dark depths
"Ain't you afraid to go out alone, Alviry?" queried the Queen-mother
Heart of the West
|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 Poor and Proud by Oliver Optic:
"Boo, hoo, hoo! O, dear me! I shall be killed!" cried she, so
lustily, that the well-dressed gentleman could not decently avoid
inquiring the cause of her bitter sorrow.
"I haven't sold out," sobbed Ann.
"What if you haven't? Why need you cry about it?" asked the
"My mother will kill me if I go home without half a dollar."
"She is a cruel woman, then."
"Boo, hoo, hoo! She'll beat me to death! O, dear me! I only got
"Why don't you fly round and sell your candy?" said the