|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Thuvia, Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
She knew that he loved her; but, in time, she recalled
that she was promised to Kulan Tith. Not even might she
trust herself to show too great gratitude to the Heliumite,
lest he misunderstand.
Carthoris was by her side now. His quick glance had
taken in the scene within the room--the still figure of
the jeddak sprawled upon the floor--the girl hastening
toward a shrouded exit.
"Did he harm you, Thuvia?" he asked.
She held up her crimsoned blade that he might see it.
"No," she said, "he did not harm me."
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
"Perhaps you are right, Demonades. In fact there are many ulcers here
which have closed. I feel robust. Here! look how I am eating!"
And less from greediness than from ostentation, and the desire to
prove to himself that he was in good health, he cut into the
forcemeats of cheese and marjoram, the boned fish, gourds, oysters
with eggs, horse-radishes, truffles, and brochettes of small birds. As
he looked at the prisoners he revelled in the imagination of their
tortures. Nevertheless he remembered Sicca, and the rage caused by all
his woes found vent in the abuse of these three men.
"Ah! traitors! ah! wretches! infamous, accursed creatures! And you
outraged me!--me! the Suffet! Their services, the price of their
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from When a Man Marries by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
He drew a long breath.
"I think I understand," he said slowly, "but--you could have
saved me something. I must have given you all a great deal of
"Oh, no," I protested. "I--I want to tell you--"
But he deliberately left me and went over to the door. There he
turned and looked down at Aunt Selina. He was a little white, but
there was no passion in his face.
"Thank you for telling me all this, Miss Caruthers," he said
easily. "Now that you and I know, I'm afraid the others will miss
their little diversion. Good night."
|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 At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:
So one day Augustine, timid as she was, but armed with supernatural
courage, got into her carriage at two in the afternoon to try for
admittance to the boudoir of the famous coquette, who was never
visible till that hour. Madame de Sommervieux had not yet seen any of
the ancient and magnificent mansions of the Faubourg Saint-Germain. As
she made her way through the stately corridors, the handsome
staircases, the vast drawing-rooms--full of flowers, though it was in
the depth of winter, and decorated with the taste peculiar to women
born to opulence or to the elegant habits of the aristocracy,
Augustine felt a terrible clutch at her heart; she coveted the secrets
of an elegance of which she had never had an idea; she breathed in an