|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:
grease spots on their clothes. Give me a gasoline lamp, a dry-goods
box, and a two-dollar bar of white castile soap, cut into little--'
"'Where's your two dollars?' snickered Bill Bassett into my discourse.
There was no use arguing with that burglar.
"'No,' he goes on; 'you're both babes-in-the-wood. Finance has closed
the mahogany desk, and trade has put the shutters up. Both of you look
to labor to start the wheels going. All right. You admit it. To-night
I'll show you what Bill Bassett can do.'
"Bassett tells me and Ricks not to leave the cabin till he comes back,
even if it's daylight, and then he starts off toward town, whistling
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Kenilworth by Walter Scott:
mechanically; until, looking back, he said in a tone which
savoured of familiarity at least, if not of authority, "How is
this, my lord? Your cloak hangs on one side--your hose are
"Thou art a fool, Varney, as well as a knave," said Leicester,
shaking him off, and rejecting his officious assistance. "We are
best thus, sir; when we require you to order our person, it is
well, but now we want you not."
So saying, the Earl resumed at once his air of command, and with
it his self-possession--shook his dress into yet wilder disorder
--passed before Varney with the air of a superior and master, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
how to say or do without the aid of secret harmonies which a day, an
hour, a fortunate conjunction of celestial signs, or an inward moral
tendency may produce.
Such mysterious revelations are imperatively needed in order to tell
this simple history, in which we seek to interest those souls that are
naturally grave and reflective and find their sustenance in tender
emotions. If the writer, like the surgeon beside his dying friend, is
filled with a species of reverence for the subject he is handling,
should not the reader share in that inexplicable feeling? Is it so
difficult to put ourselves in unison with the vague and nervous
sadness which casts its gray tints all about us, and is, in fact, a
|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 Richard III by William Shakespeare:
To base declension and loath'd bigamy.
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners call the Prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer'd benefit of dignity;
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing times