|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:
against blackened walls or a distant prospect of dustbin-fed
vegetable gardens, I saw the women pouring out from the potbanks,
heard the hooters summoning the toilers to work, lost my way upon
slag heaps as big as the hills of the south country, dodged trains
at manifestly dangerous level crossings, and surveyed across dark
intervening spaces, the flaming uproar, the gnome-like activities of
iron foundries. I heard talk of strikes and rumours of strikes, and
learnt from the columns of some obscure labour paper I bought one
day, of the horrors of the lead poisoning that was in those days one
of the normal risks of certain sorts of pottery workers. Then back
I came, by the ugly groaning and clanging steam tram of that period,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:
"And YOU have been here before, sir?"
"I thought, from your referring to business--" said Mr. Westgate.
"Oh, you see I'm by way of being a barrister," Percy Beaumont answered.
"I know some people that think of bringing a suit against one of your
railways, and they asked me to come over and take measures accordingly."
"What's your railroad?" he asked.
"The Tennessee Central."
The American tilted back his chair a little and poised it an instant.
"Well, I'm sorry you want to attack one of our institutions,"
he said, smiling. "But I guess you had better enjoy yourself FIRST!"
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry:
country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy
can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will
raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the
strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir,
we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late
to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!
Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!
The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--
but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps
|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 A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:
by a single sentiment. How many hours wasted on a lonely shore! How
many hopes defeated by a change of weather! He was hanging there to a
granite rock, his arm extended like that of an Indian fakir, while his
father, sitting in their hovel, awaited, in silence and darkness, a
meal of the coarsest bread and shell-fish, if the sea permitted.
"Do you ever drink wine?" I asked.
"Three or four times a year," he replied.
"Well, you shall drink it to-day,--you and your father; and we will
send you some white bread."
"You are very kind, monsieur."
"We will give you your dinner if you will show us the way along the