|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:
ashamed of his wild talk already. He asked me to tell you
so; no doubt he'll tell you so himself."
Darrow made a movement of protest. "Oh, as to that--the
thing's not worth another word."
"Or another thought, either?" She brightened. "Promise me
you won't even think of it--promise me you won't be hard on
He was finding it easier to smile back at her. "Why should
you think it necessary to ask my indulgence for Owen?"
She hesitated a moment, her eyes wandering from him. Then
they came back with a smile. "Perhaps because I need it for
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy:
in an atmosphere of public opinion that not only conceals from
them the guilt of their actions, but sets these actions up as
feats of heroism, so these political offenders were also
constantly surrounded by an atmosphere of public opinion which
made the cruel actions they committed, in the face of danger and
at the risk of liberty and life, and all that is dear to men,
seem not wicked but glorious actions. Nekhludoff found in this
the explanation of the surprising phenomenon that men, with the
mildest characters, who seemed incapable of witnessing the
sufferings of any living creature, much less of inflicting pain,
quietly prepared to murder men, nearly all of them considering
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Aunt Margaret's Mirror by Walter Scott:
words, I mean angry words, on the subject of your usage of your
"If," replied Sir Philip Forester, "you suppose Major Falconer
simple enough to intrude his advice upon me, Lady Bothwell, in my
domestic matters, you are indeed warranted in believing that I
might possibly be so far displeased with the interference as to
request him to reserve his advice till it was asked."
"And being on these terms, you are going to join the very army in
which my brother Falconer is now serving?"
"No man knows the path of honour better than Major Falconer,"
said Sir Philip. "An aspirant after fame, like me, cannot choose
|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 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
day she came in with her hands full, and went about the house
leaving letters and parcels like the penny post.
"Here's your posy, Mother! Laurie never forgets that," she
said, putting the fresh nosegay in the vase that stood in `Marmee's
corner', and was kept supplied by the affectionate boy.
"Miss Meg March, one letter and a glove," continued Beth,
delivering the articles to her sister, who sat near her mother,
"Why, I left a pair over there, and here is only one," said
Meg, looking at the gray cotton glove. "Didn't you drop the
other in the garden?"