|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Yates Pride by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
the tea-things. The old serving-woman who had lived with them
for many years was suffering from rheumatism, and was cared for
by her daughter in the little cottage across the road from the
Lancaster house. Her husband and grandson were the man and boy
at work in the grounds. The three sisters took care of
themselves and their house with the elegant ease and lack of
fluster of gentlewomen born and bred. Miss Amelia, bringing in
the tea-tray, was an unclassed being, neither maid nor mistress,
but outranking either. She had tied on a white apron. She bore
the silver tray with an ease which bespoke either nerve or muscle
in her lace-draped arms.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
ordeal for a young fellow who has lost his benefactor by so cruel
a stroke--and they are right." He resumed his speech:
"For more than twenty years I have amused my compulsory
leisure with collecting these curious physical signatures in this town.
At my house I have hundreds upon hundreds of them.
Each and every one is labeled with name and date; not labeled the
next day or even the next hour, but in the very minute that the
impression was taken. When I go upon the witness stand I will
repeat under oath the things which I am now saying. I have the
fingerprints of the court, the sheriff, and every member of the jury.
There is hardly a person in this room, white or black,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:
trees were clearly marked, and the rocks and the willow trees cast dark
In her sleep she shivered, and half awoke.
"Ah, I am not there, I am here," she said; and she crept closer to the
rock, and kissed it, and went to sleep again.
It must have been about three o'clock, for the moon had begun to sink
towards the western sky, when she woke, with a violent start. She sat up,
and pressed her hand against her heart.
"What can it be? A cony must surely have run across my feet and frightened
me!" she said, and she turned to lie down again; but soon she sat up.
Outside, there was the distinct sound of thorns crackling in a fire.
|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 Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson:
his furtive business, speeding home, perhaps, with a paltry booty of
lame horses and lean kine, or squealing and dealing death in some
moorland feud of the ferrets and the wild cats. One after another
closed his obscure adventures in mid-air, triced up to the arm of the
royal gibbet or the Baron's dule-tree. For the rusty blunderbuss of
Scots criminal justice, which usually hurt nobody but jurymen, became a
weapon of precision for the Nicksons, the Ellwalds, and the Crozers.
The exhilaration of their exploits seemed to haunt the memories of their
descendants alone, and the shame to be forgotten. Pride glowed in their
bosoms to publish their relationship to "Andrew Ellwald of the
Laverockstanes, called `Unchancy Dand,' who was justifeed wi' seeven