|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Oakdale Affair by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
A laugh followed this evidently witty sally.
"The guy probably lamped the swag an' died of heart
failure," suggested another.
The men were still laughing when the sound of a
clanking chain echoed dismally from the cellar. In-
stantly silence fell upon the newcomers upon the first
floor, followed by a--"Wotinel's that?" Two of the men
had approached the staircase and started to ascend it.
Slowly the uncanny clanking drew closer to the first
floor. The girl on the bed turned toward Bridge.
"What is it?" she gasped.
The Oakdale Affair
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from In the Cage by Henry James:
give his sensibility another push into the dim vast of trade. In
that direction it was all alert, and she had whisked before it the
mild fragrance of a "connexion." That was the most he could see in
any account of her keeping in, on whatever roundabout lines, with
the gentry; and when, getting to the bottom of this, she quickly
proceeded to show him the kind of eye she turned on such people and
to give him a sketch of what that eye discovered, she reduced him
to the particular prostration in which he could still be amusing to
"They're the most awful wretches, I assure you--the lot all about
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister:
breathless, all the while, to know which of them was coming out ahead.
There was no fairness in their positions; Hortense had Eliza in a cage,
penned in by every fact; but it doesn't do to go too near some birds,
even when they're caged, and, while these two birds had been giving their
sweet manifestations of song, Eliza had driven a peck or two home through
the bars, which, though they did not draw visible blood, as I have said,
probably taught Hortense that a Newport education is not the only
instruction which fits you for drawing-room war to the knife.
Her small reckoning was paid, and she had drawn on one long, tawny glove.
Even this act was a luxury to watch, so full it was of the feminine, of
the stretching, indolent ease that the flesh and the spirit of this
|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:
she raised her beer mug, and when she had drunk she spat on the floor and
savagely wiped her mouth with her sleeve. Then the music started and she
followed Theresa with her eyes, looking suspiciously at each man who danced
"Cheer up, old woman," shouted her husband, digging her in the ribs; "this
isn't Theresa's funeral." He winked at the guests, who broke into loud
"I AM cheerful," mumbled the old woman, and beat upon the table with her
fist, keeping time to the music, proving she was not out of the
"She can't forget how wild Theresa has been," said Frau Ledermann. "Who