|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
friends were known to fall out with one another over the mere fact of
an omission to return a social call! Yes, in spite of the best efforts
of husbands and kinsfolk to reconcile the antagonists, it became clear
that, though all else in the world might conceivably be possible,
never could the hatchet be buried between ladies who had quarrelled
over a neglected visit. Likewise strenuous scenes used to take place
over questions of precedence--scenes of a kind which had the effect of
inspiring husbands to great and knightly ideas on the subject of
protecting the fair. True, never did a duel actually take place, since
all the husbands were officials belonging to the Civil Service; but at
least a given combatant would strive to heap contumely upon his rival,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:
liberty, but abundantly justified, in appealing to the whole
world to aid in its removal.
But, even if I had--as has been often charged--labored to bring
American institutions generally into disrepute, and had not
confined my labors strictly within the limits of humanity and
morality, I should not have been without illustrious examples to
support me. Driven into semi-exile by civil and barbarous laws,
and by a system which cannot be thought of without a shudder, I
was fully justified in turning, if possible, the tide of the
moral universe against the heaven-daring outrage.
Four circumstances greatly assisted me in getting the question of
My Bondage and My Freedom
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
in all she did, and had a remarkable knack of narrative; so, at
least, I judge from the impression made on me by her nursery tales.
She was pretty too, if my recollections of her face and person are
correct. I remember her as a slim young woman, with black hair,
dark eyes, very nice features, and good, clear complexion; but she
had a capricious and hasty temper, and indifferent ideas of
principle or justice: still, such as she was, I preferred her to
any one else at Gateshead Hall.
It was the fifteenth of January, about nine o'clock in the morning:
Bessie was gone down to breakfast; my cousins had not yet been
summoned to their mama; Eliza was putting on her bonnet and warm
|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 Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather:
so indulgently. If her face had changed at all,
it was in a slight hardening of the mouth--
still eager enough to be very disconcerting
at times, he felt--and in an added air of self-
possession and self-reliance. She carried her
head, too, a little more resolutely.
When the story was finished, Miss Burgoyne
turned pointedly to Alexander, and the
other men drifted away.
"I thought I saw you in MacConnell's box
with Mainhall one evening, but I supposed