|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
a similar term, unless some unforeseen contingency should render
a modification necessary.
It was calculated to be of great service to the infant
establishment at Astoria; dispelling the fears of hostile rivalry
on the part of the foreign companies in its neighborhood, and
giving a formidable blow to the irregular trade along the coast.
It was also the intention of Mr. Astor to have coasting vessels
of his own, at Astoria, of small tonnage and draft of water,
fitted for coasting service. These, having a place of shelter and
deposit, could ply about the coast in short voyages, in favorable
weather, and would have vast advantage over chance ships, which
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
schooner as upon a bed of honor, still and calm, her great braids
smooth upon her breast, her arms wide; alone with the sea; alone
in death as she had been in life. She passed out of his life as
she had come into it--alone, upon a derelict ship, abandoned to
the sea. She went out with the tide, out with the storms; out,
out, out to the great gray Pacific that knew her and loved her,
and that shouted and called for her, and thundered in the joy of
her as she came to meet him like a bride to meet a bridegroom.
"Good-by, Moran!" shouted Wilbur as she passed. "Good-by, good-
by, Moran! You were not for me--not for me! The ocean is calling
for you, dear; don't you hear him? Don't you hear him? Good-by,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister:
language, but what did the other boy mean about a 'raid on Steel
Preferred'--if I've got the jargon right?"
While I translated this for her, I felt again the disapproval in Mrs.
Weguelin's dark eyes; and my sins--for they were twofold--were presently
made clear to me by this lady.
"Are such subjects as--as stocks" (she softly cloaked this word in scorn
immeasurable)--"are such subjects mentioned in your good society at the
I laughed heartily. "Everything's mentioned!"
The lady paused over my reply. "I am afraid you must feel us to be very
old-fashioned in, Kings Port," she then said.
|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 Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
and prestige to be attained without the medium of arts, graces,
tact, wealth - by sheer weight of merit alone. On that view he
considered himself entitled to undisputed success. His father, a
delicate dark enthusiast with a sloping forehead, had been an
itinerant and rousing preacher of some obscure but rigid Christian
sect - a man supremely confident in the privileges of his
righteousness. In the son, individualist by temperament, once the
science of colleges had replaced thoroughly the faith of
conventicles, this moral attitude translated itself into a frenzied
puritanism of ambition. He nursed it as something secularly holy.
To see it thwarted opened his eyes to the true nature of the world,
The Secret Agent