|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
o' them long breadths. I ain't had such a good night's sleep for
"There, what do you think o' havin' such a mother as that for
eighty-six year old?" said Mrs. Todd, standing before us like a
large figure of Victory.
As for the mother, she took on a sudden look of youth; you
felt as if she promised a great future, and was beginning, not
ending, her summers and their happy toils.
"My, my!" exclaimed Mrs. Todd. "I couldn't ha' done it
myself, I've got to own it."
"I was much pleased to have it off my mind," said Mrs.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey:
wild territory--a refuge for outlaws! Somewhere he had heard or
read that the Texas Rangers kept a book with names and records
of outlaws--three thousand known outlaws. Yet these could
scarcely be half of that unfortunate horde which had been
recruited from all over the states. Duane had traveled from
camp to camp, den to den, hiding-place to hiding-place, and he
knew these men. Most of them were hopeless criminals; some were
avengers; a few were wronged wanderers; and among them
occasionally was a man, human in his way, honest as he could
be, not yet lost to good.
But all of them were akin in one sense--their outlawry; and
The Lone Star Ranger
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:
you brusque, so many elements must be brought together to launch an
enterprise,--so much study! Remember to take gloomy views of business;
it is heavy, dull, risky, unsettled. Now, don't go beyond that, and
mind you specify nothing. Don't sing those songs of Beranger at table;
and don't get fuddled. If you are drunk, your future is lost. Roguin
will keep an eye on you. You are going now among moral people,
virtuous people; and you are not to scare them with any of your pot-
This lecture produced upon the mind of Charles Claparon very much the
effect that his new clothes produced upon his body. The jovial
scapegrace, easy-going with all the world, and long used to a
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
|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 Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy:
who had come at an untimely hour. "Papa is not in," a pale girl
with crimped hair said, crossly, coming out into the ante-room,
but, seeing a young man in a good coat, she softened.
"Come in, please. . . . What is it you want?"
"I want to see a prisoner in this prison."
"A political one, I suppose?"
"No, not a political one. I have a permission from the
"Well, I don't know, and papa is out; but come in, please," she
said, again, "or else speak to the assistant. He is in the office
at present; apply there. What is your name?"