|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Buttered Side Down by Edna Ferber:
than usual. I hadn't the fifty cents to give to the woman. You
ought to see her! A little, gray-faced thing, with wisps of hair,
and no chest to speak of, and one of those mashed-looking black
hats. Nobody could have the nerve to ask her to wait for her
money. So I did my own washing. I haven't learned to wear soiled
clothes yet. I laughed fit to bust while I was doing it.
But--I'll bet my mother dreamed of me that night. The way they do,
you know, when something's gone wrong."
Sophy, perched on the third rung of the sliding ladder, was
gazing at him. Her lips were parted slightly, and her cheeks were
very pink. On her face was a new, strange look, as of something
Buttered Side Down
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Melmoth Reconciled by Honore de Balzac:
day after day, and, as in duty bound, had thought of his horse first,
and of himself afterwards. While he served his military
apprenticeship, therefore, he had but little leisure in which to
reflect on the destiny of man, and when he became an officer he had
his men to think of. He had been swept from battlefield to
battlefield, but he had never thought of what comes after death. A
soldier's life does not demand much thinking. Those who cannot
understand the lofty political ends involved and the interests of
nation and nation; who cannot grasp political schemes as well as plans
of campaign, and combine the science of the tactician with that of the
administrator, are bound to live in a state of ignorance; the most
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton:
on all right. I've just got a headache to-day."
Ann Eliza's courage dropped at the note of refusal in his
"I'm sorry," she said gently. "My sister and me'd have been
glad to do anything we could for you."
"Thank you kindly," said Mr. Ramy wearily; then, as she turned
to the door, he added with an effort: "Maybe I'll step round to-
"We'll be real glad," Ann Eliza repeated. Her eyes were fixed
on a dusty bronze clock in the window. She was unaware of looking
at it at the time, but long afterward she remembered that it
|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 Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
that a clever examining judge, M. Popinot, for instance, would have
identified the man convicted for sacrilege.
In fact, ever since the "salad-basket" had turned out of the gate of
La Force, Jacques Collin had studied everything on his way.
Notwithstanding the pace they had made, he took in the houses with an
eager and comprehensive glance from the ground floor to the attics. He
saw and noted every passer-by. God Himself is not more clear-seeing as
to the means and ends of His creatures than this man in observing the
slightest differences in the medley of things and people. Armed with
hope, as the last of the Horatii was armed with his sword, he expected
help. To anybody but this Machiavelli of the hulks, this hope would