|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:
owner of the Hermana? Also, precisely how ill was the hero of
Chattanooga, her poor dear father?
At the Exchange I opened the door upon a conversation which, in
consequence, broke off abruptly; but this much I came in for:--
"Nothing but the slightest bruise above his eye. The other one is in
It was the severe lady who said this; I mean that lady who, among all the
severe ones I had met, seemed capable of the highest exercise of this
quality, although she had not exercised it in my presence. She looked, in
her veil and her black street dress, as aloof, and as coldly scornful of
the present day, as she had seemed when sitting over her embroidery; but
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Jonathan applauding the unexpected incidents with many a slap
of his big hand; Nance, perhaps, more pleased with the
narrator's eloquence and wise reflections; and then, again,
days would follow of abstraction, of listless humming, of
frequent apologies and long hours of silence. Once only, and
then after a week of unrelieved melancholy, he went over to
the 'Green Dragon,' spent the afternoon with the landlord and
a bowl of punch, and returned as on the first night, devious
in step but courteous and unperturbed of speech.
If he seemed more natural and more at his ease it was when he
found Nance alone; and, laying by some of his reserve, talked
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Poems by Bronte Sisters:
an ear which discerned language in its whispers.
In summer's mellow midnight,
A cloudless moon shone through
Our open parlour window,
And rose-trees wet with dew.
I sat in silent musing;
The soft wind waved my hair;
It told me heaven was glorious,
And sleeping earth was fair.
I needed not its breathing
|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 Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
crossed the Nancon and the suburb, and divining like a bird in the
desert her right course among the dangerous precipices of the Mont
Saint-Sulpice, she followed a slippery track defined upon the granite,
and in spite of the prickly gorse and reeds and loose stones which
hindered her, she climbed the steep ascent with an energy greater
perhaps than that of a man,--the energy momentarily possessed by a
woman under the influence of passion.
Night overtook her as she endeavored by the failing moonlight to make
out the path the marquis must have taken; an obstinate quest without
reward, for the dead silence about her was sufficient proof of the
withdrawal of the Chouans and their leader. This effort of passion