|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery:
She knelt there, lost to everything but the loveliness
around her, until she was startled by a hand on her
shoulder. Marilla had come in unheard by the small dreamer.
"It's time you were dressed," she said curtly.
Marilla really did not know how to talk to the child, and
her uncomfortable ignorance made her crisp and curt when she
did not mean to be.
Anne stood up and drew a long breath.
"Oh, isn't it wonderful?" she said, waving her hand
comprehensively at the good world outside.
"It's a big tree," said Marilla, "and it blooms great, but
Anne of Green Gables
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
them; and, indeed, I cannot but think it an unfortunate
circumstance for you that it so happened, for the first loss in
this instance would, in my opinion, have proved the best, as they
seem to have no idea of the value of property, nor any apparent
regard for your interest, although interwoven with their own."
This, it must be confessed, was acting with a high hand, and
carrying a regard to the owner's property to a dangerous length.
Various petty feuds occurred also between him and the partners in
respect to the goods on board ship, some articles of which they
wished to distribute for clothing among the men, or for other
purposes which they deemed essential. The captain, however, kept
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin:
no account from him, nor any satisfactory state of our partnership
while he lived. On his decease, the business was continued by
his widow, who, being born and bred in Holland, where, as I have been
inform'd, the knowledge of accounts makes a part of female education,
she not only sent me as clear a state as she could find of the
transactions past, but continued to account with the greatest
regularity and exactness every quarter afterwards, and managed
the business with such success, that she not only brought up reputably
a family of children, but, at the expiration of the term, was able
to purchase of me the printing-house, and establish her son in it.
I mention this affair chiefly for the sake of recommending that branch
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
|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 Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
would have preferred never to have had children rather than to have had
them and lost them. And yet, although these and the like examples are
manifest and known of all, it is rare to find any one who has refused what
has been offered him, or, if he were likely to gain aught by prayer, has
refrained from making his petition. The mass of mankind would not decline
to accept a tyranny, or the command of an army, or any of the numerous
things which cause more harm than good: but rather, if they had them not,
would have prayed to obtain them. And often in a short space of time they
change their tone, and wish their old prayers unsaid. Wherefore also I
suspect that men are entirely wrong when they blame the gods as the authors
of the ills which befall them (compare Republic): 'their own presumption,'