|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Copy-Cat & Other Stories by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
On nights like that he did not go to bed. All the
bedrooms were under the slant of the roof and were
hot. He preferred to sit until dawn beside his open
window, and doze when he could, and wait with
despairing patience for the infrequent puffs of cool
air breathing blessedly of wet swamp places, which,
even when the burning sun arose, would only show
dewy eyes of cool reflection. Daniel Wise, as he sat
there through the sultry night, even prayed for
courage, as a devout sentinel might have prayed
at his post. The imagination of the deserter was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Kenilworth by Walter Scott:
"My followers, gracious Princess," said Sussex, "have indeed
ruffled in your cause in Ireland, in Scotland, and against yonder
rebellious Earls in the north. I am ignorant that--"
"Do you bandy looks and words with me, my lord?" said the Queen,
interrupting him; "methinks you might learn of my Lord of
Leicester the modesty to be silent, at least, under our censure.
I say, my lord, that my grandfather and my father, in their
wisdom, debarred the nobles of this civilized land from
travelling with such disorderly retinues; and think you, that
because I wear a coif, their sceptre has in my hand been changed
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
to him of "Moses in Egypt," nor of the drama, or romanticism, or local
color, nor of railways. He himself had never got beyond Monsieur de
Voltaire, Monsieur le Comte de Buffon, Payronnet, and the Chevalier
Gluck, the Queen's favorite musician.
"Madame," he said to the Marquise de Listomere, who was on his arm as
they entered Madame Firmiani's salons, "if this woman is my nephew's
mistress, I pity him. How can she live in the midst of this luxury,
and know that he is in a garret? Hasn't she any soul? Octave is a fool
to have given up such an estate as Villaines for a--"
Monsieur de Bourbonne belonged to the species Fossil, and used the
language of the days of yore.
|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 Peter Pan by James M. Barrie:
Nana had filmy eyes, but all she could do was put her paw
gently on her mistress's lap; and they were sitting together thus
when the kennel was brought back. As Mr. Darling puts his head
out to kiss his wife, we see that his face is more worn than of
yore, but has a softer expression.
He gave his hat to Liza, who took it scornfully; for she had no
imagination, and was quite incapable of understanding the motives
of such a man. Outside, the crowd who had accompanied the cab
home were still cheering, and he was naturally not unmoved.
"Listen to them," he said; "it is very gratifying."
"Lots of little boys," sneered Liza.