|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister:
and the too sparse new growth appearing scantily amid the tall, fine,
venerable, decaying trunks. It had been by no razing to the ground and
sowing with salt that the city had perished; a process less violent but
more sad had done away with it. Youth, in the wake of commerce, had ebbed
from Kings Port, had flowed out from the silent, mourning houses, and
sought life North and West, and wherever else life was to be found. Into
my revery floated a phrase from a melodious and once favorite song: O
tempo passato perche non ritorni?
And John Mayrant? Why, then, had he tarried here himself? That is a hard
saying about crabbed age and youth, but are not most of the sayings hard
that are true? What was this young man doing in Kings Port with his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:
happiness which had not been hers. These were the beginnings of a
friendship that grew up between the old man and his neighbor; but
for this friendship the catastrophe of the drama must have
remained a mystery.
The affection with which Father Goriot regarded Eugene, by whom
he seated himself at breakfast, the change in Goriot's face,
which as a rule, looked as expressionless as a plaster cast, and
a few words that passed between the two, surprised the other
lodgers. Vautrin, who saw Eugene for the first time since their
interview, seemed as if he would fain read the student's very
soul. During the night Eugene had had some time in which to scan
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:
Lesson and the bold pagan joys of the Antiope; and then he had
missed her from his side, and when he came to where she stood,
forgetting him, forgetting everything, had seen the glare of
that tragic sky in her face, her trembling lip, the tears on her
lashes. That was Susy ....
Closing his book he stole a glance at Coral Hicks's profile,
thrown back against the cushions of the deck-chair at his side.
There was something harsh and bracing in her blunt primitive
build, in the projection of the black eyebrows that nearly met
over her thick straight nose, and the faint barely visible black
down on her upper lip. Some miracle of will-power, combined
|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 The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories by Alice Dunbar:
Host-Bell. Nor did Theophile call at either house. Two hearts
beat furiously at the sound of every passing footstep, and two
minds wondered if the other were enjoying the beloved one's
smiles. Two pair of eyes, however, blue and black, smiled on
others, and their owners laughed and seemed none the less happy.
For your Creole girls are proud, and would die rather than let
the world see their sorrows.
Monday evening Theophile, the missing, showed his rather sheepish
countenance in Manuela's parlour, and explained that he, with
some chosen spirits, had gone for a trip--"over the Lake."
"I did not ask you where you were yesterday," replied the girl,
The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories