|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Wyoming by William MacLeod Raine:
the day about his patient's condition. I will be responsible for
Helen herself hurried to the telegraph office at the depot. She
wrote out a long dispatch and handed it to the operator. "Send
this at once please."
He was one of those supercilious young idiots that make the most
of such small power as ever drifts down to them. Taking the
message, he tossed it on the table. "I'll send it when I get
"You'll send it now."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:
The justice looked at his young wife with a sort of alarmed
The next day it was whispered about that the Rogrons had not
altogether succeeded in Madame Tiphaine's salon. That lady's speech
about an inn was immensely admired. It was a whole month before she
returned Mademoiselle Sylvie's visit. Insolence of this kind is very
much noticed in the provinces.
During the evening which Sylvie had spent at Madame Tiphaine's a
disagreeable scene occurred between herself and old Madame Julliard
while playing boston, apropos of a trick which Sylvie declared the old
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
kerosene oil, every seven days, into the millions of mizutame, and the tens
of millions of bamboo flower-cups, in the Tokyo graveyards!... Impossible!
To free the city from mosquitoes it would be necessary to demolish the
ancient graveyards;-- and that would signify the ruin of the Buddhist
temples attached to them;-- and that would mean the disparition of so many
charming gardens, with their lotus-ponds and Sanscrit-lettered monuments
and humpy bridges and holy groves and weirdly-smiling Buddhas! So the
extermination of the Culex fasciatus would involve the destruction of the
poetry of the ancestral cult,-- surely too great a price to pay!...
Besides, I should like, when my time comes, to be laid away in some
Buddhist graveyard of the ancient kind,-- so that my ghostly company should
|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 Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:
recognize it, and say:
"It must be Mihail Fyodorovitch."
And a minute later my colleague, the philologist Mihail
Fyodorovitch, a tall, well-built man of fifty, clean-shaven, with
thick grey hair and black eyebrows, walks in. He is a
good-natured man and an excellent comrade. He comes of a
fortunate and talented old noble family which has played a
prominent part in the history of literature and enlightenment. He
is himself intelligent, talented, and very highly educated, but
has his oddities. To a certain extent we are all odd and all
queer fish, but in his oddities there is something exceptional,