|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Witch, et. al by Anton Chekhov:
shut me up in a cellar -- I will shout from it to be heard half a
mile away, or I will starve myself to death that they may have
another weight on their black consciences. Kill me and I will
haunt them with my ghost. All my acquaintances say to me: 'You
are a most insufferable person, Pavel Ivanitch.' I am proud of
such a reputation. I have served three years in the far East, and
I shall be remembered there for a hundred years: I had rows with
everyone. My friends write to me from Russia, 'Don't come back,'
but here I am going back to spite them . . . yes. . . . That is
life as I understand it. That is what one can call life."
Gusev was looking at the little window and was not listening. A
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:
hills, however much the vale might open, were still tall and bare,
with cliffy battlements and here and there a pointed summit; and
the Tarn still rattled through the stones with a mountain noise. I
had been led, by bagmen of a picturesque turn of mind, to expect a
horrific country after the heart of Byron; but to my Scottish eyes
it seemed smiling and plentiful, as the weather still gave an
impression of high summer to my Scottish body; although the
chestnuts were already picked out by the autumn, and the poplars,
that here began to mingle with them, had turned into pale gold
against the approach of winter.
There was something in this landscape, smiling although wild, that
|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:
and stared at him.
"Don't give me away until I tell you to, Ned," he said, "but I
don't know but I am going to follow your example."
"Yes, going to get married."
The young man gasped. A look of surprise, of amusement, then of
generous sympathy came over his face. He grasped Lawton's hand.
"Who is she?"
"Oh, a woman I wanted more than anything in the world when I was
about your age."
"Then she isn't young?"
|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 The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
man of property put an end to a scandalous connection, which began
at the time when the authority of religion was overthrown in this
region. This event, due to the enlightened zeal of the clergy of
Issoudun will, we trust, have imitators, and put a stop to
marriages, so-called, which have never been solemnized, and were
only contracted during the disastrous epoch of revolutionary rule.
One remarkable feature of the event to which we allude, is the
fact that it was brought about at the entreaty of a colonel
belonging to the old army, sent to our town by a sentence of the
Court of Peers, who may, in consequence, lose the inheritance of
his uncle's property. Such disinterestedness is so rare in these