|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
without corn. However, I could not complain, nor make known my wants.
So it went on for about two months; and I wondered that my master
did not see that something was the matter. However, one afternoon
he rode out into the country to see a friend of his, a gentleman farmer,
who lived on the road to Wells.
This gentleman had a very quick eye for horses; and after he had
welcomed his friend he said, casting his eye over me:
"It seems to me, Barry, that your horse does not look so well as he did
when you first had him; has he been well?"
"Yes, I believe so," said my master; "but he is not nearly so lively
as he was; my groom tells me that horses are always dull and weak
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Whirligigs by O. Henry:
One day a steamer hove in the offing. Bare-legged and
bare-shouldered La Paz scampered down to the beach,
for the arrival of a steamer was their loop-the-loop,
circus, Emancipation Day and four-o'clock tea.
When the steamer was near enough, wise ones pro-
claimed that she was the Pajaro, bound up-coast from
Callao to Panama.
The Paiaro put on brakes a mile off shore. Soon a
boat came bobbing shoreward. Merriam strolled down
on the beach to look on. In the shallow water the Carib
sailors sprang out and dragged the boat with a mighty
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
relieved by a remedy which the famous doctor, Tronchin, had once
recommended to her,--namely, to apply the skin of a freshly-flayed
hare on the pit of the stomach, and to remain in bed without making
the slightest movement for two days. This tale had prodigious success,
and the doctor of Carentan, a royalist "in petto," increased its
effect by the manner in which he discussed the remedy.
Nevertheless, suspicions had taken too strong a root in the minds of
some obstinate persons, and a few philosophers, to be thus dispelled;
so that all Madame de Dey's usual visitors came eagerly and early that
evening to watch her countenance: some out of true friendship, but
most of them to detect the secret of her seclusion.
|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 Lesson of the Master by Henry James:
the one, in this country, whom they consider the most perfect,
isn't he?' Is it success to be the occasion of a young
Englishman's having to stammer as you would have to stammer at such
a moment for old England? No, no; success is to have made people
wriggle to another tune. Do try it!"
Paul continued all gravely to glow. "Try what?"
"Try to do some really good work."
"Oh I want to, heaven knows!"
"Well, you can't do it without sacrifices - don't believe that for
a moment," the Master said. "I've made none. I've had everything.
In other words I've missed everything."