|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Persuasion by Jane Austen:
to the Harvilles, while the Harvilles had been wanting them
to come to dinner every day; and in short, it seemed to have been
only a struggle on each side as to which should be most disinterested
Mary had had her evils; but upon the whole, as was evident
by her staying so long, she had found more to enjoy than to suffer.
Charles Hayter had been at Lyme oftener than suited her; and when
they dined with the Harvilles there had been only a maid-servant to wait,
and at first Mrs Harville had always given Mrs Musgrove precedence;
but then, she had received so very handsome an apology from her
on finding out whose daughter she was, and there had been so much
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
and hollow, they passed about two sides, beholding nothing. On the
third side the garden wall was built close upon the beach, and to
preserve the distance necessary to their purpose, they had to go
some way down upon the sands. Although the tide was still pretty
far out, the surf was so high, and the sands so flat, that at each
breaker a great sheet of froth and water came careering over the
expanse, and Dick and Greensheve made this part of their inspection
wading, now to the ankles, and now as deep as to the knees, in the
salt and icy waters of the German Ocean.
Suddenly, against the comparative whiteness of the garden wall, the
figure of a man was seen, like a faint Chinese shadow, violently
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
externally, at least, I was apparently calm and self-possessed.
He went on with his duty--examining several colored passengers
before reaching me. He was somewhat harsh in tome and peremptory
in manner until he reached me, when, strange enough, and to my surprise
and relief, his whole manner changed. Seeing that I did not readily
produce my free papers, as the other colored persons in the car had done,
he said to me, in friendly contrast with his bearing toward the others:
"I suppose you have your free papers?"
To which I answered:
"No sir; I never carry my free papers to sea with me."
"But you have something to show that you are a freeman, haven't you?"
|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 Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
must speak to no one in the streets, as they would not leave you till
you were rooked and beaten. You must enter a hotel with military
precautions; for the least you had to apprehend was to awake next
morning without money or baggage, or necessary raiment, a lone forked
radish in a bed; and if the worst befell, you would instantly and
mysteriously disappear from the ranks of mankind.
I have usually found such stories correspond to the least modicum of
fact. Thus I was warned, I remember, against the roadside inns of
the Cevennes, and that by a learned professor; and when I reached
Pradelles the warning was explained - it was but the far-away rumour
and reduplication of a single terrifying story already half a century