|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Cruise of the Jasper B. by Don Marquis:
"An hour or so," said Heinrich.
"It was old man Abernethy; he's harmless," said the tall fellow.
"He's the only person that's been aboard her in years."
"There was someone else," persisted Heinrich. "Someone who was
talking to Abernethy."
The tall man mumbled something about having been a fool not to
buy her before this; Cleggett did not catch all of the remark.
Then the tall fellow said:
"We'll go aboard, Heinrich, and take a look around."
With that they advanced towards the vessel. Cleggett stepped on
deck from the cabin companionway, and both men stopped short at
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Cavalry General by Xenophon:
command; excess of victory never yet caused any conqueror one pang
 Or, "a great and decided victory." Cf. "Hiero," ii. 16.
But in any attempt to attack superior forces, in full certainty that,
do what you can, you must eventually retire, it is far better, say I,
under these circumstances to bring a fraction only of your whole force
into action, which fraction should be the pick and flower of the
troops at your command, both horses and men. A body of that size and
quality will be able to strike a blow and to fall back with greater
security. Whereas, if a general brings all his troops into action
against a superior force, when he wishes to retire, certain things
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain:
for dimes, and as soon as the whisky begun to take hold
of Bud we stopped drinking, but we didn't let him stop.
We loaded him till he fell out of his chair and laid
"We was ready for business now. I said we better pull
our boots off, and his'n too, and not make any noise,
then we could pull him and haul him around and ransack
him without any trouble. So we done it. I set my
boots and Bud's side by side, where they'd be handy.
Then we stripped him and searched his seams and his
pockets and his socks and the inside of his boots,
|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 Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
walking four times to and fro between the place Royale and Saint-
Paul's church (for her mother made her practise the precepts and the
duties of religion), her parents took her to the pavement in front of
the Cafe Ture, where they sat on chairs placed between a railing and
the wall. The Saillards always made haste to reach the place early so
as to choose the best seats, and found much entertainment in watching
the passers-by. In those days the Cafe Ture was the rendezvous of the
fashionable society of the Marais, the faubourg Saint-Antoine, and the
Elisabeth never wore anything but cotton gowns in summer and merino in
the winter, which she made herself. Her mother gave her twenty francs