|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Polly of the Circus by Margaret Mayo:
systematic, business-like air, and even the little knot of
excited women near Polly--it seemed that one of the men had upset
a circus tradition--kept a sharp lookout for their "turns."
"What do you think about it, Polly?" asked a handsome brunette,
as she surveyed herself in the costume of a Roman charioteer.
"About what?" asked Polly vacantly.
"Leave Poll alone; she's in one of her trances!" called a
motherly, good-natured woman whose trunk stood next to Polly's,
and whose business was to support a son and three daughters upon
stalwart shoulders, both figuratively and literally.
"Well, _I_ ain't in any trance," answered the dark girl, "and _I_
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tattine by Ruth Ogden [Mrs. Charles W. Ide]:
cry seems to come from. Then I am going to tie Betsy to this pillar of the
porch, and I believe she'll have sense enough to try and coax the little
fellow out, and if the is such an enterprising little chap as you think he'll
have sense enough to come out."
It seemed a good plan. Betsy was brought, and Tattine sat down to listen and
watch. Betsy, hearing the little cries, began at once to coax, giving little
sharp barks at regular intervals, and trying to make the hole larger with her
Tattine's ears, which were dear little shells of ears to look at, and very
sharp little ears to hear with, thought the cries sounded a little nearer, and
now a little nearer; then she was sure of it, and Betsy and she, both growing
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
lost. I dread the events of the future, not in themselves, but
in their results. I shudder at the thought of any, even the most
trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable
agitation of soul. I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger,
except in its absolute effect--in terror. In this unnerved--in
this pitiable condition--I feel that the period will sooner or
later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in
some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR."
I learned, moreover, at intervals, and through broken and
equivocal hints, another singular feature of his mental
condition. He was enchained by certain superstitious impressions
The Fall of the House of Usher
|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 Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:
"Suppose we make inquiration into it, Christopher,"
continued Longways; "and if we find there's really anything
in it, drop a letter to them most concerned, and advise 'em
to keep out of the way?"
This course was decided on, and the group separated,
Buzzford saying to Coney, "Come, my ancient friend; let's
move on. There's nothing more to see here."
These well-intentioned ones would have been surprised had
they known how ripe the great jocular plot really was.
"Yes, to-night," Jopp had said to the Peter's party at the
corner of Mixen Lane. "As a wind-up to the Royal visit the
The Mayor of Casterbridge