|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:
two or three big boxes, opened two quarts of the red wine, set the
olives and a canned oyster cocktail and a ready-made Martini by the
colonel's plate, and called him to grub.
Colonel Rockingham drew up his campstool, wiped off his specs, and
looked at the things on the table. Then I thought he was swearing; and
I felt mean because I hadn't taken more pains with the victuals. But
he wasn't; he was asking a blessing; and me and Caligula hung our
heads, and I saw a tear drop from the colonel's eye into his cocktail.
I never saw a man eat with so much earnestness and application--not
hastily, like a grammarian, or one of the canal, but slow and
appreciative, like a anaconda, or a real /vive bonjour/.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Yates Pride by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
The man swung his umbrella, then began prodding the ground with
it. "Hullo, Eudora," he said again; then he added: "How are you,
anyway? Fine and well?"
"I am very well, thank you," said Eudora. "So you have come home
to Wellwood after all this time?"
The man made an effort and recovered himself, although his
handsome face was burning.
"Yes," he remarked, with considerable ease and dignity, to which
he had a right, for Harry Lawton had not made a failure of his
life, even though it had not included Eudora and a fulfilled
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:
against their sovereign, and are afraid lest we should report their
treason. Either they intend to rebel because of that most righteous
act, the freeing of the slaves, and because we will not kill out all the
Kaffirs with whom they chance to quarrel, or to trek from the Colony.
For my part I think it will be the latter, for, as you have heard, some
parties have already gone; and, unless I am mistaken, many more mean to
follow, Marais and Retief and that plotter, Pereira, among them. Let
them go; I say, the sooner the better, for I have no doubt that the
English flag will follow them in due course."
"I hope that they won't," I answered with a nervous laugh; "at any rate,
until I have won back my mare." (I had left her in Retief's care as
|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 Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare:
Say, for non-payment that the debt should double,
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?'
'Fair queen,' quoth he, 'if any love you owe me,
Measure my strangeness with my unripe years: 524
Before I know myself, seek not to know me;
No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears:
The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast,
Or being early pluck'd is sour to taste. 528
'Look! the world's comforter, with weary gait
His day's hot task hath ended in the west;
The owl, night's herald, shrieks, 'tis very late;