|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:
circumstances I might have without shame gone back to listen at the
keyhole. But truth to say the association of events was not so
clear in my mind as it may be to the reader of this story. Neither
were the exact connections of persons present to my mind. And,
besides, one doesn't listen at a keyhole but in pursuance of some
plan; unless one is afflicted by a vulgar and fatuous curiosity.
But that vice is not in my character. As to plan, I had none. I
moved along the passage between the dead wall and the black-and-
white marble elevation of the staircase with hushed footsteps, as
though there had been a mortally sick person somewhere in the
house. And the only person that could have answered to that
The Arrow of Gold
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
"Who - I? Why, what can you be thinking about, Stormy? I ain't
worthy to speak to such as they."
"Of course not. You have got the same mixed-up idea about these
things that everybody has down there. I had it once, but I got
over it. Down there they talk of the heavenly King - and that is
right - but then they go right on speaking as if this was a
republic and everybody was on a dead level with everybody else, and
privileged to fling his arms around anybody he comes across, and be
hail-fellow-well-met with all the elect, from the highest down.
How tangled up and absurd that is! How are you going to have a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Riverman by Stewart Edward White:
the bears so many times."
"Bears," insisted Bobby.
"Well, once upon a time there were three bears--a big bear and a
middle-sized bear and a little bear--" began Orde obediently.
Bobby, with a sigh of rapture and content, curled up in a snug, warm
little ball. The twilight darkened.
"Blind-man's holiday!" warned Carroll behind them so suddenly that
they both jumped. "And the sand man's been at somebody, I know!"
She bore him away to bed. Orde sat smoking in the darkness, staring
straight ahead of him into the future. He believed he had found the
opportunity--twenty years distant--for which he had been looking so
|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 Roads of Destiny by O. Henry:
old French newspaper that has buzzed for nearly a century--were good
friends, well proven by years of ups and downs together. They were
seated where they had a habit of meeting--in the little, Creole-
haunted cafe of Madame Tibault, in Dumaine Street. If you know the
place, you will experience a thrill of pleasure in recalling it to
mind. It is small and dark, with six little polished tables, at which
you may sit and drink the best coffee in New Orleans, and concoctions
of absinthe equal to Sazerac's best. Madame Tibault, fat and
indulgent, presides at the desk, and takes your money. Nicolette and
Meme, madame's nieces, in charming bib aprons, bring the desirable