|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Miracle Mongers and Their Methods by Harry Houdini:
tongue, a trick for which no credit, he said,
was due, as the moisture of the tongue was
sufficient to prevent any injury arising
from it. He next rubbed it over his hair
and face, declaring that anybody might
perform the same feat by first washing
themselves in a mixture of spirits of
sulphur and alum, which, by cauterising the
epidermis, hardened the skin to resist the
He put his hand into some melted lead,
Miracle Mongers and Their Methods
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
the villa, among the flowery groves, listening to the murmur of
splashing fountains, within sight of the Roman Campagna. Her glances
were as tender as in former days; she drew near to him, leaned against
his breast and caressed him fondly.
But he repelled her soft advances. The love she sought to rekindle had
died long ago. He thought instead of all his misfortunes, and of the
twelve long years during which the war had continued. Protracted
anxiety had visibly aged the tetrarch. His shoulders were bent beneath
his violet-bordered toga; his whitening locks were long and mingled
with his beard, and the sunlight revealed many lines upon his brow, as
well as upon that of Herodias. After the tetrarch's repulse of his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Daisy Miller by Henry James:
"To introduce me," said Winterbourne, "you must know my name."
And he proceeded to pronounce it.
"Oh, dear, I can't say all that!" said his companion with a laugh.
But by this time they had come up to Mrs. Miller, who, as they
drew near, walked to the parapet of the garden and leaned upon it,
looking intently at the lake and turning her back to them.
"Mother!" said the young girl in a tone of decision.
Upon this the elder lady turned round. "Mr. Winterbourne," said Miss
Daisy Miller, introducing the young man very frankly and prettily.
"Common," she was, as Mrs. Costello had pronounced her;
yet it was a wonder to Winterbourne that, with her commonness,
|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 Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane:
Dere's Jimmie and fader. Don't be a-pullin' me back."
She jerked the baby's arm impatiently. He fell on his face,
roaring. With a second jerk she pulled him to his feet, and they
went on. With the obstinacy of his order, he protested against
being dragged in a chosen direction. He made heroic endeavors to
keep on his legs, denounce his sister and consume a bit of orange
peeling which he chewed between the times of his infantile
As the sullen-eyed man, followed by the blood-covered boy,
drew near, the little girl burst into reproachful cries.
"Ah, Jimmie, youse bin fightin' agin."
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets