|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Death of the Lion by Henry James:
accession? The sagacity and the jealousy were mine, and his the
impressions and the harvest. Of course, as regards Mrs. Wimbush, I
was worsted in my encounters, for wasn't the state of his health
the very reason for his coming to her at Prestidge? Wasn't it
precisely at Prestidge that he was to be coddled, and wasn't the
dear Princess coming to help her to coddle him? The dear Princess,
now on a visit to England, was of a famous foreign house, and, in
her gilded cage, with her retinue of keepers and feeders, was the
most expensive specimen in the good lady's collection. I don't
think her august presence had had to do with Paraday's consenting
to go, but it's not impossible he had operated as a bait to the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Saturday twelve hundred persons, besides children, made their
escape out of the starving capital. The hangman, as is not
uninteresting to note in connection with Master Francis, was
kept hard at work in 1431; on the last of April and on the
4th of May alone, sixty-two bandits swung from Paris gibbets.
(1) A more confused or troublous time it would have been
difficult to select for a start in life. Not even a man's
nationality was certain; for the people of Paris there was no
such thing as a Frenchman. The English were the English
indeed, but the French were only the Armagnacs, whom, with
Joan of Arc at their head, they had beaten back from under
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wrecker by Stevenson & Osbourne:
similitude of rabbit-warrens, with a hundred doors and
passages and galleries; enjoyed a glimpse of high publicity at
the corner of Kearney; and proceeded, among dives and
warehouses, towards the City Front and the region of the water-
rats. In this last stage of its career, where it was both grimy
and solitary, and alternately quiet and roaring to the wheels of
drays, we found a certain house of some pretension to neatness,
and furnished with a rustic outside stair. On the pillar of the
stair a black plate bore in gilded lettering this device: "Harry D.
Bellairs, Attorney-at-law. Consultations, 9 to 6." On ascending
the stairs, a door was found to stand open on the balcony, with
|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 Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories by Alice Dunbar:
thing but the moon, did you? And who is the fair one who should
clog your senses so?"
There was a deprecating shrug from the little man.
"Ma foi, but monsieur must know fo' sho', dat I am too old for
"I know nothing save that I want that violin of yours. When is
it to be mine, M'sieu Fortier?"
"Nevare, nevare!" exclaimed M'sieu, gripping on as tightly to the
case as if he feared it might be wrenched from him. "Me a
lovere, and to sell mon violon! Ah, so ver' foolish!"
"Martel," said the first speaker to his companion as they moved
The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories