|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Glasses by Henry James:
the darlings of fortune. I could perfectly understand in any case
that such a darling should be drawn to Folkestone by Flora Saunt.
But it was not in truth of these things I was thinking; what was
uppermost in my mind was a matter which, though it had no sort of
keeping, insisted just then on coming out.
"Is it true, Miss Saunt," I suddenly demanded, "that you're so
unfortunate as to have had some warning about your beautiful eyes?"
I was startled by the effect of my words; the girl threw back her
head, changing colour from brow to chin. "True? Who in the world
says so?" I repented of my question in a flash; the way she met it
made it seem cruel, and I felt my mother look at me in some
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
gloves lay on the hall table. The same stair-carpet mounted
between the same walls; the same old French print, in its narrow
black frame, faced her on the landing. This visual continuity
was intolerable. Within, a gaping chasm; without, the same
untroubled and familiar surface. She must get away from it
before she could attempt to think. But, once in her room, she
sat down on the lounge, a stupor creeping over her. . .
Gradually her vision cleared. A great deal had happened in the
interval--a wild marching and countermarching of emotions,
arguments, ideas--a fury of insurgent impulses that fell back
spent upon themselves. She had tried, at first, to rally, to
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:
herself, "what will he think of me when I'm ill or worried?"
She began to run her fingers through her hair, rejoicing in
its thickness; then she desisted and sat still, resting her
chin on her hands.
"I want him to see me as I am," she thought.
Deeper than the deepest fibre of her vanity was the
triumphant sense that AS SHE WAS, with her flattened
hair, her tired pallor, her thin sleeves a little tumbled by
the weight of her jacket, he would like her even better,
feel her nearer, dearer, more desirable, than in all the
splendours she might put on for him. In the light of this
|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 A Straight Deal by Owen Wister:
of 12,000 men, and 350 out of 400 officers. At Zeebrugge and Ostend--do
not forget the Vindictive--she dealt with submarines in April and May,
1918--but I'll skip that; I cannot set down all that she did, either at
the start, or nearing the finish, or at any particular moment during
those four years and three months that she was helping to hold Germany
off from the throat of the world; it would make a very thick book. But I
am giving you enough, I think, wherewith to answer the ignorant, and the
frauds, and the fools. Tell them that from 1916 to 1918 Great Britain
increased her tillage area by four million acres: wheat 39 per cent,
barley 11, oats 35, potatoes 50--in spite of the shortage of labor. She
used wounded soldiers, college boys and girls, boy scouts, refugees, and