|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
muttered word or two that drove her away. Yet the words were
kindly enough. Sitting there on his pallet, she cried silently
a hopeless sort of tears, but did not speak again. The man
looked up furtively at her now and then. Whatever his own
trouble was, her distress vexed him with a momentary sting.
It was market-day. The narrow window of the jail looked down
directly on the carts and wagons drawn up in a long line, where
they had unloaded. He could see, too, and hear distinctly the
clink of money as it changed hands, the busy crowd of whites and
blacks shoving, pushing one another, and the chaffering and
swearing at the stalls. Somehow, the sound, more than anything
Life in the Iron-Mills
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Pool of Blood in the Pastor's Study by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
"Yes, sir, he is a dependable man," said the old housekeeper.
Dr. Orszay entered the room just then and the Count introduced him
to the district judge, who was still a stranger to him.
"I fear, Count, that our eyes will serve but little in discovering
the truth of this mystery," said the doctor.
The nobleman nodded. "I agree with you," he replied. "And I have
sent for sharper eyes than either yours or mine."
The doctor looked his question, and the Count continued: "When the
news came to me I telegraphed to Pest for a police detective,
telling them that the case was peculiar and urgent. I received an
answer as I stopped at the station on my way here. This is it:
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
Still Parvis did not hesitate. "Well, to begin with, I supposed
you knew more than you appear to--I mean about the circumstances
of Elwell's death. And then people are talking of it now; the
whole matter's been raked up again. And I thought, if you didn't
know, you ought to."
She remained silent, and he continued: "You see, it's only come
out lately what a bad state Elwell's affairs were in. His wife's
a proud woman, and she fought on as long as she could, going out
to work, and taking sewing at home, when she got too sick--
something with the heart, I believe. But she had his bedridden
|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 Euthydemus by Plato:
both of them--if one of these two things is good and the other evil, are
better than the one and worse than the other; but if they are in a mean
between two good things which do not tend to the same end, they fall short
of either of their component elements in the attainment of their ends.
Only in the case when the two component elements which do not tend to the
same end are evil is the participant better than either. Now, if
philosophy and political action are both good, but tend to different ends,
and they participate in both, and are in a mean between them, then they are
talking nonsense, for they are worse than either; or, if the one be good
and the other evil, they are better than the one and worse than the other;
only on the supposition that they are both evil could there be any truth in