|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:
Obviously no one could tell her how I got there. In a moment, with
great outcries from two negro women following her, she waddled back
to the doorway, infuriated.
"What do you want here?"
I turned to the girl. She was sitting straight up now, her hands
posed on the arms of the chair. I appealed to her.
"Surely, Miss Alice, you will not let them drive me out into the
Her magnificent black eyes, narrowed, long in shape, swept over me
with an indefinable expression, then in a harsh, contemptuous voice
she let fall in French a sort of explanation:
'Twixt Land & Sea
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eve and David by Honore de Balzac:
calculation closely resembles Polichinelle's arithmetic in Lablache's
Neapolitan song, "fifteen and five make twenty-two." The signatures of
Messieurs Postel and Gannerac were obviously given to oblige in the
way of business; the Cointets would act at need for Gannerac as
Gannerac acted for the Cointets. It was a practical application of the
well-known proverb, "Reach me the rhubarb and I will pass you the
senna." Cointet Brothers, moreover, kept a standing account with
Metivier; there was no need of a re-draft, and no re-draft was made. A
returned bill between the two firms simply meant a debit or credit
entry and another line in a ledger.
This highly-colored account, therefore, is reduced to the one thousand
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Master Key by L. Frank Baum:
a city of some importance from its size and beauty, and resolved to
make a stop there.
Above the high walls projected many slender, white minarets,
indicating that the inhabitants were either Turks or some race of
Mohammedans; so Rob decided to make investigations before trusting
himself to their company.
A cluster of tall trees with leafy tops stood a short distance outside
the walls, and here the boy landed and sat down to rest in the
The city seemed as hushed and still as if it were deserted, and before
him stretched the vast plain of white, heated sands. He strained his
The Master Key
|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 Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister:
and where end? The boy goes to college, and there in football it awaits
him; he graduates, and in the down-town office it smirks at him; he rises
into the confidence of his superiors, the town's chief citizens, and
finds their gray hairs crowned with it,--the very men he has looked up
to, believed in, his ideals, his examples, the merchant prince, the
railroad magnate, the president of insurance companies--all dirty
rascals! Presently he faces worldly success or failure, and then, in the
new ocean of mind that has swallowed morals up, he sinks with his
isolated honesty, like a fool, or swims to respectability with his
brother knaves. And into this mess the immigrant sewage of Europe is
steadily pouring. Such is our continent to-day, with all its fair winds