|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey:
notes of a catbird to tell him that near at hand, somewhere, was human life.
Once more Wetzel became a tiger. The hot blood leaped from his heart, firing
all his veins and nerves. But calmly noiseless, certain, cold, deadly as a
snake he began the familiar crawling method of stalking his game.
On, on under the briars and thickets, across the hollows full of yellow
leaves, up over stony patches of ground to the fern-covered cliff overhanging
the glade he glided--lithe, sinuous, a tiger in movement and in heart.
He parted the long, graceful ferns and gazed with glittering eyes down into
the beautiful glade.
He saw not the shining spring nor the purple moss, nor the ghastly white
bones--all that the buzzards had left of the dead--nor anything, save a
The Spirit of the Border
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Cavalry General by Xenophon:
It is the business of the hipparch to take infinite precautions while
it is still peace, to make himself acquainted with the details, not
only of his own, but of the hostile territory; or if, as may well
betide, he personally should lack the knowledge, he should invite the
aid of others--those best versed in the topography of any district.
Since there is all the difference in the world between a leader
acquainted with his roads and one who is not; and when it comes to
actual designs upon the enemy, the difference between knowing and not
knowing the locality can hardly be exaggerated.
 Or, "with hostile and friendly territories alike."
 Lit. "he should associate with himself those of the rest"; i.e.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde:
the last Duke died.
They will try him first, and sentence him afterwards, will they
not, neighbour Anthony?
Nay, for he might 'scape his punishment then; but they will condemn
him first so that he gets his deserts, and give him trial
afterwards so that no injustice is done.
Well, well, it will go hard with him I doubt not.
|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 Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:
poodle, who died with a long-drawn howl.
"Could the brute have been in the secret?" thought Don Juan,
looking down at the faithful creature.
Don Juan Belvidero was looked upon as a dutiful son. He reared a
white marble monument on his father's tomb, and employed the
greatest sculptors of the time upon it. He did not recover
perfect ease of mind till the day when his father knelt in marble
before Religion, and the heavy weight of the stone had sealed the
mouth of the grave in which he had laid the one feeling of
remorse that sometimes flitted through his soul in moments of