|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:
"A policeman!" demanded the woman. "For what?"
"To put you outside! You are behaving yourself like a thief."
"A thief? I? What do you mean?"
"I mean that you are demanding money which doesn't belong to
"More than that," broke in Madame Dupont, "you are destroying
that poor little baby! You are a wicked woman!"
"I will put you out myself!" shouted George, and seized her by
the arm again.
"Oh, it's like that, is it?" retorted the nurse. "Then you
really want me to tell you why I am going away?"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:
"I've never heard of any such thing, ma'am." said
two or three.
"It is hardly likely, either." continued Bathsheba.
"For any lover of hers might have come to the house if
he had been a respectable lad. The most mysterious
matter connected with her absence -- indeed, the only
thing which gives me serious alarm -- is that she was
seen to go out of the house by Maryann with only her
indoor working gown on -- not even a bonnet."
"And you mean, ma'am, excusing my words, that a
young woman would hardly go to see her young man
Far From the Madding Crowd
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
below the bridge, had somehow given him a glimpse of another
world than this,--of an infinite depth of beauty and of quiet
somewhere,--somewhere, a depth of quiet and rest and love.
Looking up now, it became strangely real. The sun had sunk
quite below the hills, but his last rays struck upward, touching
the zenith. The fog had risen, and the town and river were
steeped in its thick, gray damp; but overhead, the sun-touched
smoke-clouds opened like a cleft ocean,--shifting, rolling seas
of crimson mist, waves of billowy silver veined with blood-
scarlet, inner depths unfathomable of glancing light. Wolfe's
artist-eye grew drunk with color. The gates of that other
Life in the Iron-Mills
|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 Options by O. Henry:
Spaniards, cannon-balls, canned beef, gunpowder, or nepotism. He went
forth with his pallid hair and china-blue eyes and ate up Spaniards
like you would sardines a la canopy. Wars and rumbles of wars never
flustered him. He would stand guard-duty, mosquitoes, hardtack,
treat, and fire with equally perfect unanimity. No blondes in history
ever come in comparison distance of him except the Jack of Diamonds
and Queen Catherine of Russia.
"I remember, one time, a little caballard of Spanish men sauntered out
from behind a patch of sugar-cane and shot Bob Turner, the first
sergeant of our company, while we were eating dinner. As required by
the army regulations, we fellows went through the usual tactics of