|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela:
band . . . or whatever he is, huh? Well, if he's skulking in
some hole, you tell him to come out. What the hell do I
care? I'm not scared of rats, see!"
Suddenly a white shadow loomed on the threshold.
"Demetrio Macias!" the sergeant cried as he stepped
back in terror.
The lieutenant stood up, silent, cold and motionless
as a statue.
"Shoot them!" the woman croaked.
"Oh, come, you'll surely spare us! I didn't know you
were there. I'll always stand up for a brave man."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Faith of Men by Jack London:
Somebody knocked at the door, knocked again, and let himself in.
"What a mess!" he remarked, as he paused and surveyed the scene.
The severed eggs were beginning to thaw in the heat of the stove,
and a miserable odour was growing stronger.
"Must a-happened on the steamer," he suggested.
Rasmunsen looked at him long and blankly.
"I'm Murray, Big Jim Murray, everybody knows me," the man
volunteered. "I'm just hearin' your eggs is rotten, and I'm
offerin' you two hundred for the batch. They ain't good as salmon,
but still they're fair scoffin's for dogs."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:
than that of this man. You, who have a life-long experience of the
confessional, dear uncle, you may never, perhaps, have seen so awful a
remorse,--remorse sunk in the waves of prayer, the ceaseless
supplication of a mute despair. This fisherman, this mariner, this
hard, coarse Breton, was sublime through some hidden emotion. Had
those eyes wept? That hand, moulded for an unwrought statue, had it
struck? That ragged brow, where savage honor was imprinted, and on
which strength had left vestiges of the gentleness which is an
attribute of all true strength, that forehead furrowed with wrinkles,
was it in harmony with the heart within? Why was this man in the
granite? Why was the granite in the man? Which was the man, which was
|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 My Aunt Margaret's Mirror by Walter Scott:
equipped with numerous engravings, and put forth every year about
Christmas, had flourished for a long while in Germany before it
was imitated in this country by an enterprising bookseller, a
German by birth, Mr. Ackermann. The rapid success of his work,
as is the custom of the time, gave birth to a host of rivals,
and, among others, to an Annual styled The Keepsake, the first
volume of which appeared in 1828, and attracted much notice,
chiefly in consequence of the very uncommon splendour of its
illustrative accompaniments. The expenditure which the spirited
proprietors lavished on this magnificent volume is understood to
have been not less than from ten to twelve thousand pounds