|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:
speaking style, and to walk on his own feet instead of on
academical stilts. There was never a man of letters with
more absolute command of his means; and we may say of him,
without excess, that his style was his slave. Hence that
energy of epithet, so concise and telling, that a foreigner
is tempted to explain it by some special richness or aptitude
in the dialect he wrote. Hence that Homeric justice and
completeness of description which gives us the very
physiognomy of nature, in body and detail, as nature is.
Hence, too, the unbroken literary quality of his best pieces,
which keeps him from any slip into the weariful trade of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
him upon stilts. They could not spoil his safe spontaneity,
and he remained the least cautious and the most lucky of young nobles.
He had been tied with so short a rope in his youth that
he had now a mortal grudge against family discipline.
He had been known to say, within the limits of the family,
that, light-headed as he was, the honor of the name was safer
in his hands than in those of some of it's other members,
and that if a day ever came to try it, they should see.
His talk was an odd mixture of almost boyish garrulity and of
the reserve and discretion of the man of the world, and he seemed
to Newman, as afterwards young members of the Latin races often
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Jolly Corner by Henry James:
particular form of surrender to his obsession and of address to
what he more and more believed to be his privilege. It was what in
these weeks he was living for - since he really felt life to begin
but after Mrs. Muldoon had retired from the scene and, visiting the
ample house from attic to cellar, making sure he was alone, he knew
himself in safe possession and, as he tacitly expressed it, let
himself go. He sometimes came twice in the twenty-four hours; the
moments he liked best were those of gathering dusk, of the short
autumn twilight; this was the time of which, again and again, he
found himself hoping most. Then he could, as seemed to him, most
intimately wander and wait, linger and listen, feel his fine
|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 Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
their heads, and a voice like a cry shouted, "Any more for the gangway?"
"You'll give my love to father," Fenella saw her father's lips say. And
her grandma, very agitated, answered, "Of course I will, dear. Go now.
You'll be left. Go now, Frank. Go now."
"It's all right, mother. I've got another three minutes." To her surprise
Fenella saw her father take off his hat. He clasped grandma in his arms
and pressed her to him. "God bless you, mother!" she heard him say.
And grandma put her hand, with the black thread glove that was worn through
on her ring finger, against his cheek, and she sobbed, "God bless you, my
own brave son!"
This was so awful that Fenella quickly turned her back on them, swallowed