|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Thuvia, Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
The man hesitated. It was evident that he regretted
the temerity that had made him the centre of interested
observation. But at last, seeing no alternative, he spoke.
"It might be tampered with," he said, "by an enemy."
Carthoris drew a small key from his leathern pocket-pouch.
"Look at this," he said, handing it to the man. "If you
know aught of locks, you will know that the mechanism which
this unlooses is beyond the cunning of a picker of locks.
It guards the vitals of the instrument from crafty tampering.
Without it an enemy must half wreck the device to reach its heart,
leaving his handiwork apparent to the most casual observer."
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift:
are thus endowed have seldom any other revenue, but live upon the
Great speakers in public are seldom agreeable in private
conversation, whether their faculty be natural, or acquired by
practice and often venturing. Natural elocution, although it may
seem a paradox, usually springeth from a barrenness of invention
and of words, by which men who have only one stock of notions upon
every subject, and one set of phrases to express them in, they swim
upon the superficies, and offer themselves on every occasion;
therefore, men of much learning, and who know the compass of a
language, are generally the worst talkers on a sudden, until much
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:
examination and the depositions of the witnesses had been completed,
but the lawyer's plea, and the speech of the public prosecutor were
still to come; it could not be finished before midnight. The man
would probably be condemned; the attorney-general was very clever,
and never missed his culprits; he was a brilliant fellow who
An usher stood at the door communicating with the hall of the Assizes.
He inquired of this usher:--
"Will the door be opened soon, sir?"
"It will not be opened at all," replied the usher.
"What! It will not be opened when the hearing is resumed?
|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 Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:
had me of late about his person."
"And what dost thou do here, sirrah?" said Lady Anne, angrily.
"How darest thou come so into our garden?"
"I meant not to come as I did," said Myles, clumsily, and with a
face hot and red. "But I slipped over the top of the wall and
fell hastily into the garden. Truly, lady, I meant ye no harm or
He looked so drolly abashed as he stood before them, with his
clothes torn and soiled from the fall, his face red, and his eyes
downcast, all the while industriously twisting the piece of
clematis in and around his fingers, that Lady Anne's
Men of Iron