|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey:
him. I reckon I needn't say any more."
"Is this Brown a man who shot an outlaw named Stevens?" queried
"Shore, he's the same. I heard thet story. Brown swears he
plugged Stevens through the middle. But the outlaw rode off,
an' nobody ever knew for shore."
"Luke Stevens died of that shot. I buried him," said Duane.
Andrews made no further comment, and the two men returned to
"The main road for about three miles, then where it forks take
the left-hand road and keep on straight. That what you said,
The Lone Star Ranger
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:
hills which will vanish before the resolutions of man. These
feelings are transitory; each day of expectation delayed fills them
with fear, and I almost dread a mutiny caused by this despair.
A scene has just passed of such uncommon interest that,
although it is highly probable that these papers may never reach you,
yet I cannot forbear recording it.
We are still surrounded by mountains of ice, still in imminent
danger of being crushed in their conflict. The cold is excessive,
and many of my unfortunate comrades have already found a grave
amidst this scene of desolation. Frankenstein has daily declined
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
Without an effort . . . And here are trivial things,--
A chill, an errand forgotten, a cut while shaving;
A friend of mine who tells me he is married . . .
Or is that last so trivial? Well, no matter!
This is the sort of thing you'll see of me,
If you look hard enough. This, in its way,
Is a kind of fame. My life arranged before you
In scrolls of leaves, rosebuds, violets, ivy,
Clustered or wreathed on plate and cup and platter . . .
Sometimes, I say, I'm just like John the Baptist--
You have my head before you . . . on a platter.
|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 Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
gentleman as he sat by his fire, digesting a profuse provincial
[*] The "Bande Noire" was a mysterious association of speculators,
whose object was to buy in landed estates, cut them up, and sell
them off in small parcels to the peasantry, or others.
But heirs cannot always rid themselves of uncles as easily as they
would like to. Thanks to his obstinacy, this particular uncle refused
to believe the story, and came out victorious from the attack of
indigestion produced by his nephew's biography. Some shocks affect the
heart, others the head; but in this case the cousin's blow fell on the
digestive organs and did little harm, for the old man's stomach was