|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin:
an income life and health may be supported.
At Watts's printing-house I contracted an acquaintance with an ingenious
young man, one Wygate, who, having wealthy relations, had been better
educated than most printers; was a tolerable Latinist, spoke French,
and lov'd reading. I taught him and a friend of his to swim at
twice going into the river, and they soon became good swimmers.
They introduc'd me to some gentlemen from the country, who went to
Chelsea by water to see the College and Don Saltero's curiosities.
In our return, at the request of the company, whose curiosity
Wygate had excited, I stripped and leaped into the river, and swam
from near Chelsea to Blackfryar's, performing on the way many feats
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
a most frightful roar, at the same time dashing against the clear
partition at our left.
The resounding echoes of that fearsome cry were still
reverberating through the subterranean chambers when I saw the
thing that had startled it from the faithful beast.
Far in the distance, dimly through the many thicknesses of
intervening crystal, as in a haze that made them seem unreal and
ghostly, I discerned the figures of eight people--three females and
The Warlord of Mars
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from American Notes by Rudyard Kipling:
"with her chain of fortresses across the world." Thereafter they
glorified their nation afresh from the beginning, in case any
detail should have been overlooked, and that made me
uncomfortable for their sakes. How in the world can a white man,
a sahib, of our blood, stand up and plaster praise on his own
country? He can think as highly as he likes, but this
open-mouthed vehemence of adoration struck me almost as
indelicate. My hosts talked for rather more than three hours,
and at the end seemed ready for three hours more.
But when the lieutenant--such a big, brave, gentle giant--rose to
his feet, he delivered what seemed to me as the speech of the
|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 Heroes by Charles Kingsley:
At last he staggered to the shore, and set her down upon the
bank; and a strong man he needed to have been, or that wild
water he never would have crossed.
He lay panting awhile upon the bank, and then leapt up to go
upon his journey; but he cast one look at the old woman, for
he thought, 'She should thank me once at least.'
And as he looked, she grew fairer than all women, and taller
than all men on earth; and her garments shone like the summer
sea, and her jewels like the stars of heaven; and over her
forehead was a veil woven of the golden clouds of sunset; and
through the veil she looked down on him, with great soft