|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
right under our noses, that we couldn't see," she said, holding
out her apron.
"I don't see with my nose," I remarked. "What have you got
Liddy pushed aside a half-dozen geranium pots, and in the space
thus cleared she dumped the contents of her apron--a handful of
tiny bits of paper. Alex had stepped back, but I saw him
watching her curiously.
"Wait a moment, Liddy," I said. "You have been going through the
library paper-basket again!"
Liddy was arranging her bits of paper with the skill of long
The Circular Staircase
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:
weed regalia, and waits.
"By and by a young man in a blue necktie slips into the chair next to
me and asks the time.
"'Half-past ten,' says I, 'and you are Andy Tucker. I've seen you
work. Wasn't it you that put up the Great Cupid Combination package on
the Southern States? Let's see, it was a Chilian diamond engagement
ring, a wedding ring, a potato masher, a bottle of soothing syrup and
Dorothy Vernon--all for fifty cents.'
"Andy was pleased to hear that I remembered him. He was a good street
man; and he was more than that--he respected his profession, and he
was satisfied with 300 per cent. profit. He had plenty of offers to go
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Menexenus by Plato:
another's hands, and on such occasions as these to reconcile them with
sacrifices and prayers, praying to those who have power over them, that
they may be reconciled even as we are reconciled. For they did not attack
one another out of malice or enmity, but they were unfortunate. And that
such was the fact we ourselves are witnesses, who are of the same race with
them, and have mutually received and granted forgiveness of what we have
done and suffered. After this there was perfect peace, and the city had
rest; and her feeling was that she forgave the barbarians, who had severely
suffered at her hands and severely retaliated, but that she was indignant
at the ingratitude of the Hellenes, when she remembered how they had
received good from her and returned evil, having made common cause with the
|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 Economist by Xenophon:
we proceeded to convey them to their appropriate places. That done, we
directed our attention to the various articles needed by our domestics
for daily use, such as implements or utensils for making bread,
cooking relishes, spinning wool, and anything else of the same sort.
These we consigned to the care of those who would have to use them,
first pointing out where they must stow them, and enjoining on them to
return them safe and sound when done with.
As to the other things which we should only use on feast-days, or for
the entertainment of guests, or on other like occasions at long
intervals, we delivered them one and all to our housekeeper. Having
pointed out to her their proper places, and having numbered and