|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from St. Ives by Robert Louis Stevenson:
I guessed it to be more witty than reverent. After which the
SENATUS ACADEMICUS sat down to rough plenty in the shape of
rizzar'd haddocks and mustard, a sheep's head, a haggis, and other
delicacies of Scotland. The dinner was washed down with brown
stout in bottle, and as soon as the cloth was removed, glasses,
boiling water, sugar, and whisky were set out for the manufacture
of toddy. I played a good knife and fork, did not shun the bowl,
and took part, so far as I was able, in the continual fire of
pleasantry with which the meal was seasoned. Greatly daring, I
ventured, before all these Scotsmen, to tell Sim's Tale of
Tweedie's dog; and I was held to have done such extraordinary
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:
under instead of cleaving down from above. While the trick
lasted he won in sixteen successive duels in his university;
but by that time observers had discovered what his charm was,
and how to break it, therefore his championship ceased.
A rule which forbids social intercourse between members
of different corps is strict. In the dueling-house, in
the parks, on the street, and anywhere and everywhere that
the students go, caps of a color group themselves together.
If all the tables in a public garden were crowded
but one, and that one had two red-cap students at it
and ten vacant places, the yellow-caps, the blue-caps,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Daisy Miller by Henry James:
He carried in his hand a long alpenstock, the sharp point of which
he thrust into everything that he approached--the flowerbeds,
the garden benches, the trains of the ladies' dresses. In front
of Winterbourne he paused, looking at him with a pair of bright,
penetrating little eyes.
"Will you give me a lump of sugar?" he asked in a sharp, hard little voice--
a voice immature and yet, somehow, not young.
Winterbourne glanced at the small table near him, on which his coffee
service rested, and saw that several morsels of sugar remained.
"Yes, you may take one," he answered; "but I don't think sugar
is good for little boys."
|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 Faith of Men by Jack London:
Dora was stealing sidelong glances at the immobile face of Lashka
sitting on the sled. Lawrence Pentfield stared straight out before
him into a dreary future, through the grey vistas of which he saw
himself riding on a sled behind running dogs with lame Lashka by
Then he spoke, quite simply, looking Mabel in the eyes.
"I am very sorry. I did not dream it. I thought you had married
Corry. That is Mrs. Pentfield sitting on the sled over there."
Mabel Holmes turned weakly toward her sister, as though all the
fatigue of her great journey had suddenly descended on her. Dora
caught her around the waist. Corry Hutchinson was still occupied