|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tour Through Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe:
Sea was a general possession, and if my Lord Castlemain was wounded
by that arrow shot in the dark it was a misfortune. But it is so
much a happiness that it was not a mortal wound, as it was to some
men who once seemed as much out of the reach of it. And that blow,
be it what it will, is not remembered for joy of the escape, for we
see this noble family, by prudence and management, rise out of all
that cloud, if it may be allowed such a name, and shining in the
same full lustre as before.
This cannot be said of some other families in this county, whose
fine parks and new-built palaces are fallen under forfeitures and
alienations by the misfortunes of the times and by the ruin of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
jikininki,  -- an eater of human flesh. Have pity upon me, and suffer me
to confess the secret fault by which I became reduced to this condition.
"A long, long time ago, I was a priest in this desolate region. There was
no other priest for many leagues around. So, in that time, the bodies of
the mountain-folk who died used to be brought here,-- sometimes from great
distances,-- in order that I might repeat over them the holy service. But I
repeated the service and performed the rites only as a matter of business;
-- I thought only of the food and the clothes that my sacred profession
enabled me to gain. And because of this selfish impiety I was reborn,
immediately after my death, into the state of a jikininki. Since then I
have been obliged to feed upon the corpses of the people who die in this
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Poor and Proud by Oliver Optic:
will bring the business into contempt."
Of course no one would own it, and the only way she could find
out was by watching them. It must be stopped, for, besides being
too honest to allow such deception, Katy saw that it would spoil
When she got home, she found a letter which the penny-post had
brought, directed to her in large schoolboy hand.
"It is from Tommy," exclaimed she, eagerly seizing the letter and
retiring to a corner to read it.
"You and Tommy are great friends," said her mother.
"Yes, mother; but don't you see it came all the way from
|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 Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:
"Oh, how lovely, Edward! Why?"
"Signed by Harkness. What can the mystery of that be, Mary?"
"Edward, do you think--"
"Look here--look at this! Fifteen--fifteen--fifteen--thirty-four.
Thirty-eight thousand five hundred! Mary, the sack isn't worth
twelve dollars, and Harkness--apparently--has paid about par for
"And does it all come to us, do you think--instead of the ten
"Why, it looks like it. And the cheques are made to 'Bearer,' too."
"Is that good, Edward? What is it for?"
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg