|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber:
fascination of the unfinished chapter.
Fanny and Theodore were not always honest about the bargain.
They would gallop, hot-cheeked, through the allotted
chapter. Mrs. Brandeis would have fallen into a doze,
perhaps. And the two conspirators would read on, turning
the leaves softly and swiftly, gulping the pages, cramming
them down in an orgy of mental bolting, like naughty
children stuffing cake when their mother's back is turned.
But the very concentration of their dread of waking her
often brought about the feared result. Mrs. Brandeis would
start up rather wildly, look about her, and see the two
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft:
further compliance, he thought of bartering my person; and not only
allowed opportunities to, but urged, a friend from whom he borrowed
money, to seduce me. On the discovery of this act of atrocity,
I determined to leave him, and in the most decided manner, for ever.
I consider all obligations as made void by his conduct; and hold,
that schisms which proceed from want of principles, can never be healed.
"He received a fortune with me to the amount of five thousand
pounds. On the death of my uncle, convinced that I could provide
for my child, I destroyed the settlement of that fortune. I required
none of my property to be returned to me, nor shall enumerate the
sums extorted from me during six years that we lived together.
|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:
"I am minded to touch light on explanations how I came to lose the
way. The road was dim and well grown with grass; and there was Mame by
my side confiscating my intellects and attention. The excuses are good
or they are not, as they may appear to you. But I lost it, and at dusk
that afternoon, when we should have been in Oklahoma City, we were
seesawing along the edge of nowhere in some undiscovered river bottom,
and the rain was falling in large, wet bunches. Down there in the
swamps we saw a little log house on a small knoll of high ground. The
bottom grass and the chaparral and the lonesome timber crowded all
around it. It seemed to be a melancholy little house, and you felt
sorry for it. 'Twas that house for the night, the way I reasoned it. I
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 The Riverman by Stewart Edward White:
"Oh!" said the man indifferently, turning away.
The going out of the jam drained the water from the lower floors of
the mill; the upper stories and the grain were still safe.
By evening the sluice-gate had been roughly provided with pole
guides down which to slide to the bed of the river. The following
morning saw the work going on as methodically as ever. During the
night a very good head of water had gathered behind the lowered
gate. The rear crew brought down the afterguard of logs to the
pond. The sluicers with their long pike-poles thrust the logs into
the chute. The jam crew, scattered for many miles along the lower