|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:
the edges of the road. On the grass hung dingy, unfriendly tears.
They were not the tears of soft joy such as the earth weeps at
welcoming the summer sun and parting from it, and such as she
gives to drink at dawn to the corncrakes, quails, and graceful,
long-beaked crested snipes. The travellers' feet stuck in the
heavy, clinging mud. Every step cost an effort.
Andrey Ptaha was somewhat excited. He kept looking round at the
tramp and trying to understand how a live, sober man could fail
to remember his name.
"You are an orthodox Christian, aren't you?" he asked.
"Yes," the tramp answered mildly.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Beauty and The Beast by Bayard Taylor:
by Priscilla Wakefield,--the only source of Asenath's knowledge,--
and entered, with her, upon the text-book of Gray, a copy of which
he procured from Philadelphia. Yet, though he had overtaken her in
his knowledge of the technicalities of the science, her practical
acquaintance with plants and their habits left her still his
superior. Day by day, exploring the meadows, the woods, and the
clearings, he brought home his discoveries to enjoy her aid in
classifying and assigning them to their true places. Asenath had
generally an hour or two of leisure from domestic duties in the
afternoons, or after the early supper of summer was over; and
sometimes, on "Seventh-days," she would be his guide to some
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
having once more to associate with men who set no store by the
decencies of life. Yet, though he braced himself to the task, this
period of adversity told upon his health, and he even grew a trifle
shabby. More than once, on happening to catch sight of himself in the
mirror, he could not forbear exclaiming: "Holy Mother of God, but what
a nasty-looking brute I have become!" and for a long while afterwards
could not with anything like sang-froid contemplate his reflection.
Yet throughout he bore up stoutly and patiently--and ended by being
transferred to the Customs Department. It may be said that the
department had long constituted the secret goal of his ambition, for
he had noted the foreign elegancies with which its officials always
|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 White Moll by Frank L. Packard:
are other ways! She's had her fling at our expense; it's her turn
to pay now." He laughed again - and in the laugh now there was
something both brutal in its menace, and sinister in its suggestion
of gloating triumph.
"What do you mean?" demanded Rhoda Gray quickly. "What are you
going to do?"
"Get her!" said Danglar. The man's passion flamed up suddenly; he
spoke through his closed teeth. "Get her! I made her a little
promise. I'm going to keep it! Understand?"
"You've been saying that for quite a long time," retorted Rhoda
Gray coolly. "But the 'getting' has been all the other way so far.