|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
staggering up to Rev. ----'s Holiness tent--and as it was full of
seekers and a terrible noise inside, some groaning, some
laughing, and some shouting, and by a large oak, ten feet from
the tent, I fell on my face by a bench, and tried to pray, and
every time I would call on God, something like a man's hand would
strangle me by choking. I don't know whether there were any one
around or near me or not. I thought I should surely die if I did
not get help, but just as often as I would pray, that unseen hand
was felt on my throat and my breath squeezed off. Finally
something said: 'Venture on the atonement, for you will die
anyway if you don't.' So I made one final struggle to call on
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
The two Dukes, hearing a coach stop at the door with the clatter of
horses checked in full gallop, bowed to the ladies and left them,
going into the Duc de Grandlieu's study, whither came the gentleman
from the Rue Honore-Chevalier--no less a man than the chief of the
King's private police, the obscure but puissant Corentin.
"Go on," said the Duc de Grandlieu; "go first, Monsieur de Saint-
Corentin, surprised that the Duke should have remembered him, went
forward after bowing low to the two noblemen.
"Always about the same individual, or about his concerns, my dear
sir," said the Duc de Grandlieu.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
no more information than I had. With the death of her stepfather
and the prospect of the immediate return of the family, things
had become more and more impossible. I gathered that Thomas was
as relieved as I at the turn events had taken. No, she did not
know of either of the deaths in the family.
Taken all around, I had only substituted one mystery for another.
If I knew now why Rosie had taken the basket of dishes, I did not
know who had spoken to her and followed her along the drive. If
I knew that Louise was in the lodge, I did not know why she was
there. If I knew that Arnold Armstrong had spent some time
in the lodge the night before he was murdered, I was no nearer
The Circular Staircase
|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 Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
this arrangement satisfactory?" he asked, turning toward his guest.
"Very satisfactory indeed," was the reply.
"Then ask him, to begin with," resumed the Scarecrow, turning to Jellia,
"what brought him to the Emerald City"
But instead of this the girl, who had been staring at Jack, said to him:
"You are certainly a wonderful creature. Who made you?"
"A boy named Tip," answered Jack.
"What does he say?" inquired the Scarecrow. "My ears must have deceived me.
What did he say?"
"He says that your Majesty's brains seem to have come loose," replied the
The Marvelous Land of Oz