|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Blix by Frank Norris:
him, and leaned back in his chair, his fingers to his tired eyes.
He was sitting at a desk in one of the further corners of the room
and shut off by a great Japanese screen. He was in his shirt-
sleeves, his hair was tumbled, his fingers ink-stained, and his
face a little pale.
Since late in the evening he had been steadily writing. Three
chapters of "In Defiance of Authority" were done, and he was now
at work on the fourth. The day after the excursion to the
Presidio--that wonderful event which seemed to Condy to mark the
birthday of some new man within him--the idea had suddenly
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain:
Finn up an alley eating a stolen melon. Poor lads!
they -- like Tom -- had suffered a relapse.
AT last the sleepy atmosphere was stirred --
and vigorously: the murder trial came on
in the court. It became the absorbing
topic of village talk immediately. Tom
could not get away from it. Every ref-
erence to the murder sent a shudder to
his heart, for his troubled conscience and fears almost
persuaded him that these remarks were put forth in his
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Iliad by Homer:
instantly as they lifted up their hands to the gods; but Hector
wheeled his horses this way and that, his eyes glaring like those
of Gorgo or murderous Mars.
Juno when she saw them had pity upon them, and at once said to
Minerva, "Alas, child of aegis-bearing Jove, shall you and I take
no more thought for the dying Danaans, though it be the last time
we ever do so? See how they perish and come to a bad end before
the onset of but a single man. Hector the son of Priam rages with
intolerable fury, and has already done great mischief."
Minerva answered, "Would, indeed, this fellow might die in his
own land, and fall by the hands of the Achaeans; but my father
|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 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
out, was due to the bad state of their affairs. Sonya was nearly
twenty; she had stopped growing prettier and promised nothing more
than she was already, but that was enough. She exhaled happiness and
love from the time Nicholas returned, and the faithful, unalterable
love of this girl had a gladdening effect on him. Petya and Natasha
surprised Nicholas most. Petya was a big handsome boy of thirteen,
merry, witty, and mischievous, with a voice that was already breaking.
As for Natasha, for a long while Nicholas wondered and laughed
whenever he looked at her.
"You're not the same at all," he said.
"How? Am I uglier?"
War and Peace