|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair:
cheeked woman in a greasy "kimono," and she put her arm about his
waist to steady him; they turned into a dark room they were
passing--but scarcely had they taken two steps before suddenly a
door swung open, and a man entered, carrying a lantern. "Who's
there?" he called sharply. And Jurgis started to mutter some
reply; but at the same instant the man raised his light, which
flashed in his face, so that it was possible to recognize him.
Jurgis stood stricken dumb, and his heart gave a leap like a mad
thing. The man was Connor!
Connor, the boss of the loading gang! The man who had seduced
his wife--who had sent him to prison, and wrecked his home,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
who chanced to have his pass-key in his pocket, opened the door and
climbed with a stealthy step up the stairway to go into his wife's
room, Eugenie had brought the beautiful dressing-case from the oak
cabinet and placed it on her mother's bed. Mother and daughter, in
Grandet's absence, allowed themselves the pleasure of looking for a
likeness to Charles in the portrait of his mother.
"It is exactly his forehead and his mouth," Eugenie was saying as the
old man opened the door. At the look which her husband cast upon the
gold, Madame Grandet cried out,--
"O God, have pity upon us!"
The old man sprang upon the box as a famished tiger might spring upon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Voice of the City by O. Henry:
Yes, I think we will marry next week."
"Kerner," said I, "you are a fool."
"Have an absinthe drip?" said Kerner, grandly.
"To-night you are the guest of Art in paying quan-
tities. I think we will get a flat with a bath."
"I never tried one -- I mean an absinthe drip,"
The waiter brought it and poured the water slowly
over the ice in the dripper.
"It looks exactly like the Mississippi River water
in the big bend below Natchez," said I, fascinated,
The Voice of the City
|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 Symposium by Xenophon:
Lucian, xxxviii., "Amor." 45.
Well, we will lend you our ears, when your turn comes (exclaimed the
Soc. And do you now tell us, Charmides, on what you pride yourself.
Oh, I, for my part, pride myself on poverty (he answered).
Upon my word, a charming business! (exclaimed Socrates). Poverty! of
all things the least liable to envy; seldom, if ever, an object of
contention; never guarded, yet always safe; the more you starve
it, the stronger it grows.
 Cf. Plat. "Rep." 521 A; "Laws," 678 C.
And you, Socrates, yourself (their host demanded), what is it you