|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
but they stood and beamed in each other's faces.
"Lookin' pretty well for an old lady, ain't she?" said Mrs.
Todd's mother, turning away from her daughter to speak to me. She
was a delightful little person herself, with bright eyes and an
affectionate air of expectation like a child on a holiday. You
felt as if Mrs. Blackett were an old and dear friend before you let
go her cordial hand. We all started together up the hill.
"Now don't you haste too fast, mother," said Mrs. Todd
warningly; "'tis a far reach o' risin' ground to the fore door, and
you won't set an' get your breath when you're once there, but go
trotting about. Now don't you go a mite faster than we proceed
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
Beresina. This false Russia was so terribly truthful, that several of
his army comrades recognized the scene of their past misery at once.
Monsieur de Sucy took care to keep secret the motive for this tragic
imitation, which was talked of in several Parisian circles as a proof
Early in January, 1820, the colonel drove in a carriage, the very
counterpart of the one in which he had driven the Comte and Comtesse
de Vandieres from Moscow to Studzianka. The horses, too, were like
those he had gone, at the peril of his life, to fetch from the Russian
outposts. He himself wore the soiled fantastic clothing, the same
weapons, as on the 29th of November, 1812. He had let his beard grow,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Altar of the Dead by Henry James:
of Acton Hague, of which he inveterately tried to rid himself. For
Acton Hague no flame could ever rise on any altar of his.
EVERY year, the day he walked back from the great graveyard, he
went to church as he had done the day his idea was born. It was on
this occasion, as it happened, after a year had passed, that he
began to observe his altar to be haunted by a worshipper at least
as frequent as himself. Others of the faithful, and in the rest of
the church, came and went, appealing sometimes, when they
disappeared, to a vague or to a particular recognition; but this
unfailing presence was always to be observed when he arrived and
|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 Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
on one side, like a great round hat cocked over the ear. A Scotchman would
have said, "His bonnet was a thocht ajee." It appeared formed of bare
earth, here and there pierced by reddish rocks.
They wished to reach the second cone, and proceeding along the ridge of
the spurs seemed to be the best way by which to gain it.
"We are on volcanic ground," Cyrus Harding had said, and his companions
following him began to ascend by degrees on the back of a spur, which, by a
winding and consequently more accessible path, joined the first plateau.
The ground had evidently been convulsed by subterranean force. Here and
there stray blocks, numerous debris of basalt and pumice-stone, were met
with. In isolated groups rose fir-trees, which, some hundred feet lower, at
The Mysterious Island