|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Main Street by Sinclair Lewis:
Carol was volunteer nurse when Mrs. Champ Perry suddenly
died of pneumonia.
In her funeral procession were the eleven people left out
of the Grand Army and the Territorial Pioneers, old men and
women, very old and weak, who a few decades ago had been
boys and girls of the frontier, riding broncos through the rank
windy grass of this prairie. They hobbled behind a band made
up of business men and high-school boys, who straggled along
without uniforms or ranks or leader, trying to play Chopin's
Funeral March--a shabby group of neighbors with grave eyes,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
'Not I,' replied the boy steadily.
'Good,' returned the Doctor. 'We shall now turn our attention to
the material evidences. (I was born to be a detective; I have the
eye and the systematic spirit.) First, violence has been employed.
The door was broken open; and it may be observed, in passing, that
the lock was dear indeed at what I paid for it: a crow to pluck
with Master Goguelat. Second, here is the instrument employed, one
of our own table-knives, one of our best, my dear; which seems to
indicate no preparation on the part of the gang - if gang it was.
Thirdly, I observe that nothing has been removed except the
Franchard dishes and the casket; our own silver has been minutely
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Crito by Plato:
agreement. 'There is clear proof,' they will say, 'Socrates, that we and
the city were not displeasing to you. Of all Athenians you have been the
most constant resident in the city, which, as you never leave, you may be
supposed to love (compare Phaedr.). For you never went out of the city
either to see the games, except once when you went to the Isthmus, or to
any other place unless when you were on military service; nor did you
travel as other men do. Nor had you any curiosity to know other states or
their laws: your affections did not go beyond us and our state; we were
your especial favourites, and you acquiesced in our government of you; and
here in this city you begat your children, which is a proof of your
satisfaction. Moreover, you might in the course of the trial, if you had
|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 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen:
was not a shrub in it higher than the green bench in the corner.
A saunter into other meadows, and through part
of the village, with a visit to the stables to examine
some improvements, and a charming game of play with a
litter of puppies just able to roll about, brought them
to four o'clock, when Catherine scarcely thought it could
be three. At four they were to dine, and at six to set
off on their return. Never had any day passed so quickly!
She could not but observe that the abundance of the
dinner did not seem to create the smallest astonishment
in the general; nay, that he was even looking at the