|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
palpitation of suspense told me that I had done myself a violence
in holding off so long.
I had faced about so abruptly that I had not telegraphed to my servant.
He was therefore not at the station to meet me, but he poked
out his head from an upper window when I reached the house.
"They have put her into the earth, la vecchia," he said to me
in the lower hall, while he shouldered my valise; and he grinned
and almost winked, as if he knew I should be pleased at the news.
"She's dead!" I exclaimed, giving him a very different look.
"So it appears, since they have buried her."
"It's all over? When was the funeral?"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair:
editor of the "Catholic Encyclopedia", and now when I turn its
pages, I imagine that I see the bushy brown whiskers, and hear
the thundering voice: "Mr. Sinclair, it is so because I tell you
it is so!"
I investigate, and find that my ex-professor knows all about King
Henry the Eighth, and his motives in founding the Church of
England; he is ready with an "economic interpretation", as
complete as the most rabid muckraker could desire! It appears
that the king wanted a new wife, and demanded that the Pope
should grant the necessary permission; in his efforts to browbeat
the Pope into such betrayal of duty, King Henry threatened the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Unsocial Socialist by George Bernard Shaw:
always imagine your face as a face of gold, with eyes and teeth
of bdellium, or chalcedony, or agate, or any wonderful unknown
stones of appropriate colors."
Agatha, witless and dumb, could only look down deprecatingly.
"You think you ought to be angry with me, and you do not know
exactly how to make me feel that you are so. Is that it?"
"No. Quite the contrary. At least--I mean that you are wrong. I
am the most commonplace person you can imagine--if you only knew.
No matter what I may look, I mean."
"How do you know that you are commonplace?"
"Of course I know," said Agatha, her eyes wandering uneasily.
|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 Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
had been contemplating her canvas, and turned her head toward the
group of aristocrats. She measured, at a glance, the distance that now
separated her from them; but she said nothing.
"It hasn't occurred to her that they meant to insult her," said
Matilde; "she neither colored nor turned pale. How vexed these girls
will be if she likes her new place as well as the old! You are out of
bounds, mademoiselle," she added, aloud, addressing Ginevra.
The Italian pretended not to hear; perhaps she really did not hear.
She rose abruptly; walked with a certain deliberation along the side
of the partition which separated the adjoining closet from the studio,
and seemed to be examining the sash through which her light came,--