|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
lad, said I, briskly--but in the most persuasive tone imaginable, for I
jingled a four-and-twenty sous piece against the glass, taking care to hold
the flat side towards him, as he look'd back: the dog grinn'd intelligence
from his right ear to his left, and behind his sooty muzzle discovered such
a pearly row of teeth, that Sovereignty would have pawn'd her jewels for
Just heaven! What masticators!--/What bread!--
and so as he finished the last mouthful of it, we entered the town of
There is not a town in all France which, in my opinion, looks better in the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Human Drift by Jack London:
would do the business. He knew it was coming, and he was
powerless to prevent it.
"For the love of God, Bob," he said; and--[Pause.]
MAUD. Yes? Yes?
FITZSIMMONS. I held back the blow. We were in a clinch.
"For the love of God, Bob," he said again, "the misses and the
And right there I saw and knew it all. I saw the hungry children
asleep, and the missus sitting up and waiting for Bill to come
home, waiting to know whether they were to have food to eat or be
thrown out in the street.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Cruise of the Jasper B. by Don Marquis:
advancing, giving ground, advancing again, with a rhythmic
unanimity which was baffling to their opponents.
On either flank of the detectives fought one of the gigantic
negroes. Washington Artillery Lamb, almost at once, had broken
his cutlass, and now he raged in the waist of the Jasper B. with
a long iron bar in his hand. Miss Pringle's Jefferson, with his
high cockaded hat still firmly fixed upon his head, laid about
him with a heavy cavalry saber; in his excitement he still held
his harmonica in his mouth and blew blasts upon it as he fought.
The Rev. Simeon Calthrop, in a loud agitated voice, sang hymns as
he swung his cutlass. And, among the legs of the combatants,
|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 From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne:
Ardan's opponent tried to get in another word, but he could not
obtain a hearing. Cries and menaces fell upon him like hail.
"Enough! enough!" cried some.
"Drive the intruder off!" shouted others.
"Turn him out!" roared the exasperated crowd.
But he, holding firmly on to the platform, did not budge an
inch, and let the storm pass on, which would soon have assumed
formidable proportions, if Michel Ardan had not quieted it by
a gesture. He was too chivalrous to abandon his opponent in an
"You wished to say a few more words?" he asked, in a pleasant voice.
From the Earth to the Moon