|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James:
blush to the roots of my hair. I'm as much in the dark as ever,
though I've grown used in a sense to my obtuseness; at that moment,
however, Vereker's happy accent made me appear to myself, and
probably to him, a rare dunce. I was on the point of exclaiming
"Ah yes, don't tell me: for my honour, for that of the craft,
don't!" when he went on in a manner that showed he had read my
thought and had his own idea of the probability of our some day
redeeming ourselves. "By my little point I mean - what shall I
call it? - the particular thing I've written my books most FOR.
Isn't there for every writer a particular thing of that sort, the
thing that most makes him apply himself, the thing without the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
throughout the country, sweeping off the good as well as the bad;
and surely he would not be so unjust as to punish his friends for
crimes committed by his enemies.
Mr. M'Dougal pretended to be convinced by their reasoning, and
assured them that, so long as the white people should be
unmolested, and the conduct of their Indian neighbors friendly
and hospitable, the phial of wrath should remain sealed up; but,
on the least hostility, the fatal cork should be drawn.
From this time, it is added, he was much dreaded by the natives,
as one who held their fate in his hands, and was called, by way
of preeminence, "the Great Small-pox Chief."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
his in the darkness. A tear or two rose, and she let them fall.
It was so delicious to cry over imaginary troubles!
That evening, after dinner, he surprised her by reverting to the
subject of his talk. He combined a man's dislike of
uncomfortable questions with an almost feminine skill in eluding
them; and she knew that if he returned to the subject he must
have some special reason for doing so.
"You seem not to have cared for what I said this afternoon. Did
I put the case badly?"
"No--you put it very well."
"Then what did you mean by saying that you would rather not have
|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 Arizona Nights by Stewart Edward White:
on the other side. This was fearful work. The top seemed always
miles away. By morning we didn't seem to have made much of
anywhere. The same old hollow-looking mountains with the sharp
edges stuck up in about the same old places.
We had got over being very hungry, and, though we were pretty
dry, we didn't really suffer yet from thirst. About this time
Denton ran across some fishhook cactus, which we cut up and
chewed. They have a sticky wet sort of inside, which doesn't
quench your thirst any, but helps to keep you from drying up and