|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Jolly Corner by Henry James:
should have found means to hunt her up. But it wasn't," said Alice
Staverton, as if once more with her fine intentions - "it wasn't
His eyes, as he lay, turned back to her. "What more then?"
She met it, the wonder she had stirred. "In the cold dim dawn, you
say? Well, in the cold dim dawn of this morning I too saw you."
"Saw ME - ?"
"Saw HIM," said Alice Staverton. "It must have been at the same
He lay an instant taking it in - as if he wished to be quite
reasonable. "At the same moment?"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Faith of Men by Jack London:
comes into the faces of men when they yearn vainly for the things
they have been long denied. This same wistfulness was in
Pentfield's face, and the groan of it was articulate in the heave
of his shoulders.
"I dreamed last night I was in Zinkand's," he said. "The music
playing, glasses clinking, voices humming, women laughing, and I
was ordering eggs--yes, sir, eggs, fried and boiled and poached and
scrambled, and in all sorts of ways, and downing them as fast as
"I'd have ordered salads and green things," Hutchinson criticized
hungrily, "with a big, rare, Porterhouse, and young onions and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Roads of Destiny by O. Henry:
nothing above Fourteenth Street except the old Indian trail to Boston
and Hammerstein's office. Soon the old hostelry will be torn down.
And, as the stout walls are riven apart and the bricks go roaring down
the chutes, crowds of citizens will gather at the nearest corners and
weep over the destruction of a dear old landmark. Civic pride is
strongest in New Bagdad; and the wettest weeper and the loudest howler
against the iconoclasts will be the man (originally from Terre Haute)
whose fond memories of the old hotel are limited to his having been
kicked out from its free-lunch counter in 1873.
At this hotel always stopped Mrs. Maggie Brown. Mrs. Brown was a bony
woman of sixty, dressed in the rustiest black, and carrying a handbag
|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 Vailima Prayers & Sabbath Morn by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our
friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all
our innocent endeavours. If it may not, give us the strength to
encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril,
constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of
fortune, and, down to the gates of death, loyal and loving one to
another. As the clay to the potter, as the windmill to the wind,
as children of their sire, we beseech of Thee this help and mercy
for Christ's sake.
GRANT that we here before Thee may be set free from the fear of