|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Voice of the City by O. Henry:
elm in the front yard died and had to be cut down.
And yet it don't seem the same place that it used
"How's ma?" asked Miss Carrington.
"She was settin' by the front door, crocheting a
lamp-mat when I saw her last," said "Bill." "She's
older'n she was, Miss Posie. But everything in the
house looked jest the same. Your ma asked me to set
down. 'Don't touch that willow rocker, William,"
says she. 'It ain't been moved since Posie left; and
that's the apron she was hemmin', layin' over the arm
The Voice of the City
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis:
The shop-talk roused Paul Riesling. Though he was a player of violins and an
interestingly unhappy husband, he was also a very able salesman of
tar-roofing. He listened to the fat man's remarks on "the value of
house-organs and bulletins as a method of jazzing-up the Boys out on the
road;" and he himself offered one or two excellent thoughts on the use of
two-cent stamps on circulars. Then he committed an offense against the holy
law of the Clan of Good Fellows. He became highbrow.
They were entering a city. On the outskirts they passed a steel-mill which
flared in scarlet and orange flame that licked at the cadaverous stacks, at
the iron-sheathed walls and sullen converters.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tales and Fantasies by Robert Louis Stevenson:
just opened, for the cork and corkscrew lay beside it.
'Take that,' said Alan, passing John the whisky, and then
with a certain roughness pushed his friend into the bedroom,
and closed the door behind him.
John stood amazed; then he shook the bottle, and, to his
further wonder, found it partly empty. Three or four glasses
were gone. Alan must have uncorked a bottle of whisky and
drank three or four glasses one after the other, without
sitting down, for there was no chair, and that in his own
cold lobby on this freezing night! It fully explained his
eccentricities, John reflected sagely, as he mixed himself a
|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 A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
Mary, my efforts were of no avail!
Then the door opened, and she entered.
Heavens! How she had changed since I had last
seen her -- and that but a short time ago!
When she reached the middle of the room, she
staggered. I jumped up, gave her my arm, and
led her to a chair.
I stood facing her. We remained silent for a
long time; her large eyes, full of unutterable
grief, seemed to be searching in mine for some-
thing resembling hope; her wan lips vainly en-