|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Juana by Honore de Balzac:
dark presentiments, the presentiments of mothers who tremble without
apparent reason, but who are seldom mistaken when they tremble thus.
For them the veil of the future seems thinner than for others.
At Bordeaux, Diard hired in a quiet street a quiet little house,
neatly furnished, and in it he established his wife. The house was at
the corner of two streets, and had a garden. Joined to the neighboring
house on one side only, it was open to view and accessible on the
other three sides. Diard paid the rent in advance, and left Juana
barely enough money for the necessary expenses of three months, a sum
not exceeding a thousand francs. Madame Diard made no observation on
this unusual meanness. When her husband told her that he was going to
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
consisting, not merely of main conflicts and expeditions of
moment, involving the sackings, burnings, and massacres of towns
and villages, but of individual acts of treachery, murder, and
cold-blooded cruelty; or of vaunting and foolhardy exploits of
single warriors, either to avenge some personal wrong, or gain
the vainglorious trophy of a scalp. The lonely hunter, the
wandering wayfarer, the poor squaw cutting wood or gathering
corn, was liable to be surprised and slaughtered. In this way
tribes were either swept away at once, or gradually thinned out,
and savage life was surrounded with constant horrors and alarms.
That the race of red men should diminish from year to year, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Jungle Tales of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
With shouts of savage joy and triumph they came toward him,
menacing him with their spears. The devil-god was theirs!
And then, with a frightful roar, Numa, the lion, charged.
The men of Mbonga, the chief, met Numa with ready spears
and screams of raillery. In a solid mass of muscled ebony
they waited the coming of the devil-god; yet beneath
their brave exteriors lurked a haunting fear that all
might not be quite well with them--that this strange
creature could yet prove invulnerable to their weapons
and inflict upon them full punishment for their effrontery.
The charging lion was all too lifelike--they saw that in
The Jungle Tales of Tarzan
|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 The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic:
with a luminous rose-tinted skin, full red lips,
and big brown, frank eyes with heavy auburn lashes.
She made a grave little inclination of her head toward him,
and he bowed in response. Since her arrival, he noted,
the chattering of the others had entirely ceased.
"I followed the others in, in the hope that I might be
of some assistance," he ventured to explain to her in a
low murmur, feeling that at last here was some one to whom
an explanation of his presence in this Romish house was due.
"I hope they won't feel that I have intruded."
She nodded her head as if she quite understood.
The Damnation of Theron Ware