|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Horse's Tale by Mark Twain:
but the children. Seventeen children entered, and she was the
youngest. Three girls, fourteen boys - good riders all. It was a
steeplechase, with four hurdles, all pretty high. The first prize
was a most cunning half-grown silver bugle, and mighty pretty, with
red silk cord and tassels. Buffalo Bill was very anxious; for he
had taught her to ride, and he did most dearly want her to win that
race, for the glory of it. So he wanted her to ride me, but she
wouldn't; and she reproached him, and said it was unfair and
unright, and taking advantage; for what horse in this post or any
other could stand a chance against me? and she was very severe with
him, and said, 'You ought to be ashamed - you are proposing to me
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:
And he straightened up his crooked back.
Thenardier, for it was really he, was strangely surprised;
he would have been troubled, had he been capable of such a thing.
He had come to bring astonishment, and it was he who had received it.
This humiliation had been worth five hundred francs to him, and, taking it
all in all, he accepted it; but he was none the less bewildered.
He beheld this Baron Pontmercy for the first time, and, in spite
of his disguise, this Baron Pontmercy recognized him, and recognized
him thoroughly. And not only was this Baron perfectly informed
as to Thenardier, but he seemed well posted as to Jean Valjean.
Who was this almost beardless young man, who was so glacial and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
Then he dipped the point of his brush with feverish haste into the
various tints, running through the whole scale with more rapidity than
the organist of a cathedral runs up the gamut of the "O Filii" at
Porbus and Poussin stood motionless on either side of the easel,
plunged in passionate contemplation.
"See, young man," said the old man without turning round, "see how
with three or four touches and a faint bluish glaze you can make the
air circulate round the head of the poor saint, who was suffocating in
that thick atmosphere. Look how the drapery now floats, and you see
that the breeze lifts it; just now it looked like heavy linen held out
|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 McTeague by Frank Norris:
painfully new and unworn, the leather still yellow, the
brass nail heads still glittering. Trina sank at his side
very gracefully, setting her dress and train with a little
gesture of her free hand. The company bowed their heads,
Mr. Sieppe shutting his eyes tight. But Mrs. Sieppe took
advantage of the moment to stop crying and make furtive
gestures towards Owgooste, signing him to pull down his
coat. But Owgooste gave no heed; his eyes were starting
from their sockets, his chin had dropped upon his lace
collar, and his head turned vaguely from side to side with a
continued and maniacal motion.