|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Options by O. Henry:
tyrants--"low-down, common trash"--in blue, laying waste with fire and
sword. He had seen the smoke of many burning homesteads almost as
grand as Carteret Hall ascending to the drowsy Southern skies. And
now he was face to face with one of them--and he could not distinguish
him from his "young marster" whom he had come to find and bestow upon
him the emblem of his kingship--even as the arm "clothed in white
samite, mystic, wonderful" laid Excalibur in the right hand of Arthur.
He saw before him two young men, easy, kind, courteous, welcoming,
either of whom might have been the one he sought. Troubled,
bewildered, sorely grieved at his weakness of judgment, old Jake
abandoned his loyal subterfuges. His right hand sweated against the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Royalty Restored/London Under Charles II by J. Fitzgerald Molloy:
his friends laid their plots, coming out afterwards on the double
balcony in front, as North describes them, "with hats and no
peruques, pipes in their mouths, merry faces and dilated throats,
for vocal encouragement of the canaglia below."
All day long the streets were crowded by those whom business or
diversion carried abroad; but when night fell apace, the keepers
of stalls and shops speedily secured their wares and fastened
their doors, whilst the honest citizen and his family kept within
house. For the streets being unlighted, darkness fell upon them,
relieved only as some person of wealth rode homewards from
visiting a friend, or a band of late revellers returned from a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Otto laid the paper before him; as he read, his fingers played
tattoo upon the table. 'Was it proposed,' he inquired, 'to send
this paper forth without a knowledge of my pleasure?'
One of the non-combatants, eager to trim, volunteered an answer.
'The Herr Doctor von Hohenstockwitz had just entered his dissent,'
'Give me the rest of this correspondence,' said the Prince. It was
handed to him, and he read it patiently from end to end, while the
councillors sat foolishly enough looking before them on the table.
The secretaries, in the background, were exchanging glances of
delight; a row at the council was for them a rare and welcome
|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 Soul of a Bishop by H. G. Wells:
though God had sent him to be a witness!
Their eyes had met. The bishop recalled with an agonized
distinctness every moment, every error, of that shameful
encounter. He had been too surprised to conceal the state of
affairs from the pitiless scrutiny of those youthful eyes. He had
instantly made as if to put the cigarette behind his back, and
then as frankly dropped it....
His soul would not be more naked at the resurrection. The
little boy had stared, realized the state of affairs slowly but
surely, pointed his finger....
Never had two human beings understood each other more