|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
dried meat, and send it by canoes to Astoria.
The month of October elapsed without the return of the Beaver.
November, December, January, passed away, and still nothing was
seen or heard of her. Gloomy apprehensions now began to be
entertained: she might have been wrecked in the course of her
coasting voyage, or surprised, like the Tonquin, by some of the
treacherous tribes of the north.
No one indulged more in these apprehensions than M'Dougal, who
had now the charge of the establishment. He no longer evinced the
bustling confidence and buoyancy which once characterized him.
Command seemed to have lost its charms for him, or rather, he
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Edition of The Ambassadors by Henry James:
the author's heart in his mouth. Such an element, for instance, as
his intention that Mrs. Newsome, away off with her finger on the
pulse of Massachusetts, should yet be no less intensely than
circuitously present through the whole thing, should be no less
felt as to be reckoned with than the most direct exhibition, the
finest portrayal at first hand could make her, such a sign of
artistic good faith, I say, once it's unmistakeably there, takes
on again an actuality not too much impaired by the comparative
dimness of the particular success. Cherished intention too
inevitably acts and operates, in the book, about fifty times as
little as I had fondly dreamt it might; but that scarce spoils for
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne:
"No," answered the Tsigane, with a look of savage joy,
"I do not know him; but his mother knows him. Ivan,
we must make his mother speak."
"To-morrow she shall speak!" cried Ogareff. So say-
ing, he extended his hand to the Tsigane, who kissed it; for
there is nothing servile in this act of respect, it being usual
among the Northern races.
Sangarre returned to the camp. She found out Nadia
and Marfa Strogoff, and passed the night in watching them.
Although worn out with fatigue, the old woman and the
girl did not sleep. Their great anxiety kept them awake.
|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 Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:
brought me that he was past hopes: Upon which, I prevailed with
myself to go and see him, partly out of commiseration, and I
confess, partly out of curiosity. He knew me very well, seem'd
surpriz'd at my condescension, and made me compliments upon it as
well as he could, in the condition he was. The people about him
said, he had been for some time delirious; but when I saw him, he
had his understanding as well as ever I knew, and spake strong
and hearty, without any seeming uneasiness or constraint. After I
told him how sorry I was to see him in those melancholy
circumstances, and said some other civilities, suitable to the
occasion, I desired him to tell me freely and ingeniously,