|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
a shivering, white-faced wretch in the prisoners' dock that I do not
hark back with shuddering horror to the strange events on the
Pullman car Ontario, between Washington and Pittsburg, on the night
of September ninth, last.
McKnight could tell the story a great deal better than I, although
he can not spell three consecutive words correctly. But, while he
has imagination and humor, he is lazy.
"It didn't happen to me, anyhow," he protested, when I put it up to
him. "And nobody cares for second-hand thrills. Besides, you want
the unvarnished and ungarnished truth, and I'm no hand for that.
I'm a lawyer."
The Man in Lower Ten
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:
This lady lived with her maternal uncle, a former grand-vicar of the
bishopric of Seez, once her guardian, and whose heir she was. The
family of which Rose-Marie-Victoire Cormon was the present
representative had been in earlier days among the most considerable in
the province. Though belonging to the middle classes, she consorted
with the nobility, among whom she was more or less allied, her family
having furnished, in past years, stewards to the Duc d'Alencon, many
magistrates to the long robe, and various bishops to the clergy.
Monsieur de Sponde, the maternal grandfather of Mademoiselle Cormon,
was elected by the Nobility to the States-General, and Monsieur
Cormon, her father, by the Tiers-Etat, though neither accepted the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:
gathers no forecast from Wagner or Marx. Both of them prophesied
the end of our epoch, and, so far as one can guess, prophesied it
rightly. They also brought its industrial history up to the year
1848 far more penetratingly than the academic historians of their
time. But they broke off there and left a void between 1848 and
the end, in which we, who have to live in that period, get no
guidance from them. The Marxists wandered for years in this void,
striving, with fanatical superstition, to suppress the
Revisionists who, facing the fact that the Social-Democratic
party was lost, were trying to find the path by the light of
contemporary history instead of vainly consulting the oracle in
|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 Rezanov by Gertrude Atherton:
sat opposite Rezanov with his mouth open, the lines
of his strong face elongated and relaxed. It was
the hour of siesta, and they were alone in the sala.
"Mother of God!" he exclaimed. "Mother of
God! Are you mad, Excellency?"
"No man was ever saner," said Rezanov cheer-
fully. "What better proof would you have than
this final testimony to Dona Concha's perfections?"
"But it cannot be! Surely, Excellency, you
realize that? The priests! Ay yi! Ay yi!"
"I think I understand the priests. Persuade the