|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
and inscribed it only with her name. There the French widower had
shaded the grave: of his Elmire or Celestine with a brilliant
thicket of roses, amidst which a little tablet rising, bore an
equally bright testimony to her countless virtues. Every nation,
tribe, and kindred, mourned after its own fashion; and how
soundless was the mourning of all! My own tread, though slow and
upon smooth-rolled paths, seemed to startle, because it formed
the sole break to a silence otherwise total. Not only the winds,
but the very fitful, wandering airs, were that afternoon, as by
common consent, all fallen asleep in their various quarters; the
north was hushed, the south silent, the east sobbed not, nor did
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
As I entered the room he glanced up and nodded pleasantly
to me, only to resume his work as though I had never
been away at all. I was both astonished and hurt at
his indifference. And to think that I was risking death
to return to him purely from a sense of duty and affection!
"Why, Perry!" I exclaimed, "haven't you a word for me
after my long absence?"
"Long absence!" he repeated in evident astonishment.
"What do you mean?"
"Are you crazy, Perry? Do you mean to say that you
have not missed me since that time we were separated
At the Earth's Core
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:
on which La Zambinella was nonchalantly reclining. Ah! how his heart
beat when he spied a tiny foot in one of those slippers which--if you
will allow me to say so, madame--formerly imparted to a woman's feet
such a coquettish, voluptuous look that I cannot conceive how men
could resist them. Tightly fitting white stockings with green clocks,
short skirts, and the pointed, high-heeled slippers of Louis XV.'s
time contributed somewhat, I fancy, to the demoralization of Europe
and the clergy."
"Somewhat!" exclaimed the marchioness. "Have you read nothing, pray?"
"La Zambinella," I continued, smiling, "had boldly crossed her legs,
and as she prattled swung the upper one, a duchess' attitude very well
|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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:
How could the flogger of urchins be otherwise than animated and
joyous? the lady of his heart was his partner in the dance, and
smiling graciously in reply to all his amorous oglings; while
Brom Bones, sorely smitten with love and jealousy, sat brooding
by himself in one corner.
When the dance was at an end, Ichabod was attracted to a
knot of the sager folks, who, with Old V an Tassel, sat smoking
at one end of the piazza, gossiping over former times, and
drawing out long stories about the war.
This neighborhood, at the time of which I am speaking, was one of
those highly favored places which abound with chronicle and great
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow