|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Juana by Honore de Balzac:
"Juana, my Juana, hush!" cried the mother, clasping her in her arms.
Then she whispered in the girl's ear. "You MUST have another husband."
Juana turned pale. She freed herself from her mother and sat down once
more in her arm-chair.
"Who are you, monsieur?" repeated the Marana, addressing Diard.
"Madame, I am at present only the quartermaster of the 6th of the
line. But for such a wife I have the heart to make myself a marshal of
France. My name is Pierre-Francois Diard. My father was provost of
merchants. I am not--"
"But, at least, you are an honest man, are you not?" cried the Marana,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Roads of Destiny by O. Henry:
A tall man with a white moustache alighted, and assisted to the ground
a lady who was dressed and veiled in unrelieved black.
The two hastened inside, and were met by Thacker with his best
diplomatic bow. By his desk stood a slender young man with clear-cut,
sun-browned features and smoothly brushed black hair.
Senora Urique threw back her black veil with a quick gesture. She was
past middle age, and her hair was beginning to silver, but her full,
proud figure and clear olive skin retained traces of the beauty
peculiar to the Basque province. But, once you had seen her eyes, and
comprehended the great sadness that was revealed in their deep shadows
and hopeless expression, you saw that the woman lived only in some
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Wyoming by William MacLeod Raine:
began to mutter unconnected words and phrases. When his lids
lifted again there was a wilder look in his eyes, and she knew
that delirium was beginning. At intervals it lasted for long;
indeed, until the doctor came next morning in the small hours. He
talked of many things Helen Messiter did not understand, of
incidents in his past life, some of them jerky with the
excitement of a tense moment, others apparently snatches of talk
with relatives. It was like the babbling of a child, irrelevant
and yet often insistent. He would in one breath give orders
connected with the lambing of his sheep, in the next break into
football talk, calling out signals and imploring his men to hold
|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 Frances Waldeaux by Rebecca Davis:
I haven't an hour."
"You have two, exactly. You'll take the express at
eight. Oh, I'm never mistaken about a train. Here is
the coffee. Now, I'll make you a nice sandwich."
Frances was faint with hunger. As she ate, she watched
the pretty matter-of-fact little girl, and laughed with
delight. When had she found any thing so wholesome? It
was a year, too, since she had seen any one who knew
George. Naturally, she began to empty her heart, which
was full of him, to Lucy.
"I have not spoken English for months," she said, smiling