|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
wall; a fine Sheraton sideboard, a cabinet of marquetry, and a
great old bed, with tapestry hangings. The windows opened to the
floor; but by great good fortune the lower part of the shutters had
been closed, and this concealed him from the neighbours. Here,
then, Markheim drew in a packing case before the cabinet, and began
to search among the keys. It was a long business, for there were
many; and it was irksome, besides; for, after all, there might be
nothing in the cabinet, and time was on the wing. But the
closeness of the occupation sobered him. With the tail of his eye
he saw the door - even glanced at it from time to time directly,
like a besieged commander pleased to verify the good estate of his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories by Alice Dunbar:
here and there with powdered hair and graces of olden time.
Singing with unmasked faces, they danced toward Tante Louise and
Odalie. She stood with eyes lustrous and tear-heavy, for there
in the front was Pierre, Pierre the faithless, his arms about the
slender waist of a butterfly, whose tinselled powdered hair
floated across the lace ruffles of his Empire coat.
"Pierre!" cried Odalie, softly. No one heard, for it was a mere
faint breath and fell unheeded. Instead the laughing throng
pelted her with flowers and candy and went their way, and even
Pierre did not see.
You see, when one is shut up in the grim walls of a Royal Street
The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:
kissed it. Then rubbed the glass with the back of his hand. At that
moment, fainter than he had heard in the passage, more terrifying, Andreas
heard again that wailing cry. The wind caught it up in mocking echo, blew
it over the house-tops, down the street, far away from him. He flung out
his arms, "I'm so damnably helpless," he said, and then, to the picture,
"Perhaps it's not as bad as it sounds; perhaps it is just my
sensitiveness." In the half light of the drawing-room the smile seemed to
deepen in Anna's portrait, and to become secret, even cruel. "No," he
reflected, "that smile is not at all her happiest expression--it was a
mistake to let her have it taken smiling like that. She doesn't look like
my wife--like the mother of my son." Yes, that was it, she did not look
|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 In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:
The oven took a long time to light. Perhaps it was cold, like herself, and
sleepy...Perhaps it had been dreaming of a little white road with black
trees on either side, a little road that led to nowhere.
Then the door was pulled violently open and the Man strode in.
"Here, what are you doing, sitting on the floor?" he shouted. "Give me my
coffee. I've got to be off. Ugh! You haven't even washed over the
She sprang to her feet, poured his coffee into an enamel cup, and gave him
bread and a knife, then, taking a wash rag from the sink, smeared over the
black linoleumed table.