|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:
over France with the Bouthor family,--people who have the rival circus
to Franconi; but they play only at fairs. I have made the director at
the Cirque-Olympique engage her."
"Is she handsome?"
"To my thinking," said Paz, in a melancholy tone. "Malaga (that's her
stage name) is strong, active, and supple. Why do I prefer her to all
other women in the world?--well, I can't tell you. When I look at her,
with her black hair tied with a blue satin ribbon, floating on her
bare and olive-colored shoulders, and when she is dressed in a white
tunic with a gold edge, and a knitted silk bodice that makes her look
like a living Greek statue, and when I see her carrying those flags in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:
woman was slapping and pushing at her hind quarters, trying to spank
her into the drawside.
Grandfather ignored her singular occupation and greeted her politely.
`Good morning, Mrs. Shimerda. Can you tell me where I will find Ambrosch?
`He with the sod corn.' She pointed toward the north, still standing
in front of the cow as if she hoped to conceal it.
`His sod corn will be good for fodder this winter,'
said grandfather encouragingly. `And where is Antonia?'
`She go with.' Mrs. Shimerda kept wiggling her bare feet about nervously
in the dust.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Yates Pride by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
Eudora paced down the sidewalk with a magnificent, stately gait.
There was something rather magnificent in her whole appearance.
Her skirts of old, but rich, black fabric swept about her long,
advancing limbs; she held her black-bonneted head high, as if
crowned. She pushed the cumbersome baby-carriage with no
apparent effort. An ancient India shawl was draped about her
Eudora, as she passed the Glynn house, turned her face slightly,
so that its pure oval was evident. She was now a beauty in late
middle life. Her hair, of an indeterminate shade, swept in soft
|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 Euthyphro by Plato:
between us and them is, that they were slowly learning what we are in
process of forgetting. Greek mythology hardly admitted of the distinction
between accidental homicide and murder: that the pollution of blood was
the same in both cases is also the feeling of the Athenian diviner. He had
not as yet learned the lesson, which philosophy was teaching, that Homer
and Hesiod, if not banished from the state, or whipped out of the assembly,
as Heracleitus more rudely proposed, at any rate were not to be appealed to
as authorities in religion; and he is ready to defend his conduct by the
examples of the gods. These are the very tales which Socrates cannot
abide; and his dislike of them, as he suspects, has branded him with the
reputation of impiety. Here is one answer to the question, 'Why Socrates