|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:
project, how well soever intended.
But in order to justify my friend, he confessed, that this
expedient was put into his head by the famous Salmanaazor, a
native of the island Formosa, who came from thence to London,
above twenty years ago, and in conversation told my friend, that
in his country, when any young person happened to be put to
death, the executioner sold the carcass to persons of quality, as
a prime dainty; and that, in his time, the body of a plump girl
of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to poison the
Emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty's prime minister of
state, and other great mandarins of the court in joints from the
A Modest Proposal
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Sa:
kill the silly pair! They can do nothing! They do not know the
meaning of the phrase. Let us build a fire and boil them both!"
"If you put us on to boil," said the Fish, "there will be
"Ho ho!" laughed the village folk. "We shall see."
And so they made a fire.
"I have never been so angered!" said the Fish. The Turtle in
a whispered reply said: "We shall die!"
When a pair of strong hands lifted the Fish over the
sputtering water, he put his mouth downward. "Whssh!" he said. He
blew the water all over the people, so that many were burned and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alexandria and her Schools by Charles Kingsley:
corollary from the Genetic Philosophy, both of Moses and of Solomon.
But in one thing he was unfair; namely, in his allegorising. But unfair
to whom? To Socrates and Plato, I believe, as much as to Moses and to
Samuel. For what is the part of the old Jewish books which he
evaporates away into mere mystic symbols of the private experiences of
the devout philosopher? Its practical everyday histories, which deal
with the common human facts of family and national life, of man's
outward and physical labour and craft. These to him have no meaning,
except an allegoric one. But has he thrown them away for the sake of
getting a step nearer to Socrates, or Plato, or Aristotle? Surely not.
To them, as to the old Jewish sages, man is most important when regarded
|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 Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
"They escaped, and a book has appeared under the title of 'Twenty
Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,' which contains your history."
"The history of a few months only of my life!" interrupted the captain
"It is true," answered Cyrus Harding, "but a few months of that strange
life have sufficed to make you known."
"As a great criminal, doubtless!" said Captain Nemo, a haughty smile
curling his lips. "Yes, a rebel, perhaps an outlaw against humanity!"
The engineer was silent.
"It is not for me to judge you, Captain Nemo," answered Cyrus Harding,
The Mysterious Island