|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber:
matron stood in the doorway. She was a mountainous,
red-faced woman, with warts on her nose.
"Good-afternoon," I said, sweetly. ("Ugh! What a
brute!") I thought. Then I began to explain my errand
once more. Criticism of the Home? No indeed, I assured
her. At last, convinced of my disinterestedness she
reluctantly guided me about the big, gloomy building.
There were endless flights of shiny stairs, and endless
stuffy, airless rooms, until we came to a door which she
flung open, disclosing the nursery. It seemed to me that
there were a hundred babies--babies at every stage of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Main Street by Sinclair Lewis:
got rid of in a few months.
Then there was the mysterious woman with the dyed hair
and penciled eyebrows, who wore tight English dresses, like
basques, who smelled of stale musk, who flirted with the men
and got them to advance money for her expenses in a lawsuit,
who laughed at Vida's reading at a school-entertainment,
and went off owing a hotel-bill and the three hundred dollars
she had borrowed.
Vida insisted that she loved Carol, but with some satisfaction
she compared her to these traducers of the town.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Blix by Frank Norris:
supper at the Club, and go up in the library and grind out copy
for a while."
"Condy," said Blix, "I think that diver's story is almost too good
for 'The Times.' Why don't you write it and send it East? Send it
to the Centennial Company, why don't you? They've paid some
attention to you now, and it would keep your name in their minds
if you sent the story to them, even if they didn't publish it.
Why don't you think of that?"
"Fine--great idea! I'll do that. Only I'll have to write it out
|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 A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
great Emperor was unreserved in everything but expression. Like
the religion of earnest men, it was too profound a sentiment to
be displayed before a world of little faith. Apart from that he
seemed as completely devoid of military anecdotes as though he
had hardly ever seen a soldier in his life. Proud of his
decorations earned before he was twenty-five, he refused to wear
the ribbons at the buttonhole in the manner practised to this day
in Europe and even was unwilling to display the insignia on
festive occasions, as though he wished to conceal them in the
fear of appearing boastful.
"It is enough that I have them," he used to mutter. In the
A Personal Record