|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
exposed, as it were, to be utterly annihilated by a precipice of
impending ruin, yet only his body remained in these miserable
circumstances, while his aspiring soul enjoyed the sunshine of a
bright futurity. It was his nature to be always young, and the
tendency of his mode of life to keep him so. Gray hairs were
nothing, no, nor wrinkles, nor infirmity; he might look old,
indeed, and be somewhat disagreeably connected with a gaunt old
figure, much the worse for wear; but the true, the essential
Peter was a young man of high hopes, just entering on the world.
At the kindling of each new fire, his burnt-out youth rose afresh
from the old embers and ashes. It rose exulting now. Having lived
Twice Told Tales
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne:
He had better have said slide, for we did nothing but drop down the
steep inclines. It was the facifs _descensus Averni_ of Virgil. The
compass, which I consulted frequently, gave our direction as
southeast with inflexible steadiness. This lava stream deviated
neither to the right nor to the left.
Yet there was no sensible increase of temperature. This justified
Davy's theory, and more than once I consulted the thermometer with
surprise. Two hours after our departure it only marked 10° (50°
Fahr.), an increase of only 4°. This gave reason for believing that
our descent was more horizontal than vertical. As for the exact depth
reached, it was very easy to ascertain that; the Professor measured
Journey to the Center of the Earth
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
passion of an artist who tastes the first delicious anguish of his
destined fame and woe,--a passion daring yet timid, full of vague
confidence and sure discouragement. Is there a man, slender in
fortune, rich in his spring-time of genius, whose heart has not beaten
loudly as he approached a master of his art? If there be, that man
will forever lack some heart-string, some touch, I know not what, of
his brush, some fibre in his creations, some sentiment in his poetry.
When braggarts, self-satisfied and in love with themselves, step early
into the fame which belongs rightly to their future achievements, they
are men of genius only in the eyes of fools. If talent is to be
measured by youthful shyness, by that indefinable modesty which men
|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 Tales of the Klondyke by Jack London:
cabins like other men. Why? Your wife Siwash. Is it not so?
And this is not good. Wherefore I die. Promise me. Kiss me in
token of your promise.'
"I kissed her, and she dozed off, whispering, 'It is good.' At
the end, that near gone my ear was at her lips, she roused for the
last time. 'Remember, Tommy; remember my feather bed.' Then she
died, in childbirth, up there on the Chilcat Station."
The tent heeled over and half flattened before the gale. Dick
refilled his pipe, while Tommy drew the tea and set it aside
against Molly's return.
And she of the flashing eyes and Yankee blood? Blinded, falling,