|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
maimed; and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course
may be taken, to ease the nation of so grievous an incumbrance.
But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is
very well known, that they are every day dying, and rotting, by
cold and famine, and filth, and vermin, as fast as can be
reasonably expected. And as to the young labourers, they are now
in almost as hopeful a condition. They cannot get work, and
consequently pine away from want of nourishment, to a degree,
that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labour,
they have not strength to perform it, and thus the country and
themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come.
A Modest Proposal
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:
Kasatsky gave half his property to his sister and kept only
enough to maintain himself in the expensive regiment he had
To all appearance he was just an ordinary, brilliant young
officer of the Guards making a career for himself; but intense
and complex strivings went on within him. From early childhood
his efforts had seemed to be very varied, but essentially they
were all one and the same. He tried in everything he took up to
attain such success and perfection as would evoke praise and
surprise. Whether it was his studies or his military exercises,
he took them up and worked at them till he was praised and held
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
and might pursue them to take vengeance for the death of their
comrade. M'Lennan, however, was a resolute fellow, and made light
of all dangers. He and his three men were present at the
execution, and set off as soon as life was extinct in the victim;
but, to use the words of one of their comrades, "they did not let
the grass grow under the heels of their horses, as they clattered
out of the Pierced-nose country," and were glad to find
themselves in safety at the post.
Mr. Clarke and his party embarked about the same time in their
canoes, and early on the following day reached the mouth of the
Wallah-Wallah, where they found Messrs. Stuart and M'Kenzie
|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 Tom Grogan by F. Hopkinson Smith:
porch, trailing the shawl after him, his crutch jerking over the
ground, his sobs almost choking him.
"Mammy! Cully! Stumpy's tied in the loft! Oh, somebody help me!
He's in the loft! Oh, please, please!"
In the roar of the flames nobody heard him. The noise of axes
beating down the burning fences drowned all other sounds. At this
moment Tom was standing on a cart, passing up the buckets to Carl.
Cully had crawled to the ridge-pole of the tool-house to watch
both sides of the threatened roof.
The little cripple made his way slowly into the crowd nearest the
sheltered side of the tool-house, pulling at the men's coats,