|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
The lights were burning low. In the solemn hush which precedes the
dawn vague figures flitted soundless along the dim hall and gathered
silent and awed in Helen's chamber, and grouped themselves about
her bed, for a warning had gone forth, and they knew. The dying
girl lay with closed lids, and unconscious, the drapery upon her
breast faintly rising and falling as her wasting life ebbed away.
At intervals a sigh or a muffled sob broke upon the stillness.
The same haunting thought was in all minds there: the pity of
this death, the going out into the great darkness, and the mother
not here to help and hearten and bless.
Helen stirred; her hands began to grope wistfully about as if they
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:
must have been severe during the last ten days of our expedition;
for we went down the Riviere des Ecorces, and that is a tough trip,
and full of occasions when consolation is needed. After a long,
hard day's work cutting out an abandoned portage through the woods,
or tramping miles over the incredibly shaggy hills to some outlying
pond for a caribou, and lugging the saddle and hind quarters back to
the camp, the evening pipe, after supper, seemed to comfort the men
unspeakably. If their tempers had grown a little short under stress
of fatigue and hunger, now they became cheerful and good-natured
again. They sat on logs before the camp-fire, their stockinged feet
stretched out to the blaze, and the puffs of smoke rose from their
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Faith of Men by Jack London:
from her fashion, even as a child, of being fluttery, of darting
about from place to place like a butterfly, of being inconsequent
and merry, and of laughing as lightly as she darted and danced
Lit-lit was the daughter of Snettishane, a prominent chief in the
tribe, by a half-breed mother, and to him the Factor fared casually
one summer day to open negotiations of marriage. He sat with the
chief in the smoke of a mosquito smudge before his lodge, and
together they talked about everything under the sun, or, at least,
everything that in the Northland is under the sun, with the sole
exception of marriage. John Fox had come particularly to talk of
|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 Rewards and Fairies by Rudyard Kipling:
flourished along watercourses - every soul at both Mills died of it, -
could not be so handled. Which brought me to a stand. Ahem!'
'And your sick people in the meantime?'Puck demanded.
'We persuaded them on the north side of the street to lie out in
Hitheram's field. Where the plague had taken one, or at most
two, in a house, folk would not shift for fear of thieves in their
absence. They cast away their lives to die among their goods.'
'Human nature,' said Puck. 'I've seen it time and again. How
did your sick do in the fields?'
'They died not near so thick as those that kept within doors,
and even then they died more out of distraction and melancholy