|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne:
inhuman it was.
By this time the dwarf was driven to extremes, and in his first
transports, which are generally unreasonable, had told the German
he would cut off his long queue with his knife. - The German look'd
back coolly, and told him he was welcome, if he could reach it.
An injury sharpen'd by an insult, be it to whom it will, makes
every man of sentiment a party: I could have leap'd out of the box
to have redressed it. - The old French officer did it with much
less confusion; for leaning a little over, and nodding to a
sentinel, and pointing at the same time with his finger at the
distress, - the sentinel made his way to it. - There was no
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
Gymnase. Formerly in the King's guard, a man of the world and a
favorite among women, he knew how to present himself in society with
the courteous manners of the olden time; he could make graceful
speeches and understand the whole Charter, or most of it. Though he
loved the Bourbons with noble frankness, believed in God as a
gentleman should, and read nothing but the "Quotidienne," he was not
as ridiculous as the liberals of his department would fain have had
him. He could hold his own in the court circle, provided no one talked
to him of "Moses in Egypt," nor of the drama, or romanticism, or local
color, nor of railways. He himself had never got beyond Monsieur de
Voltaire, Monsieur le Comte de Buffon, Payronnet, and the Chevalier
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:
unfloatable things; it reconciles us to fishes swimming
around on top of the mud--I mean the water. The most of
the picture is a manifest impossibility--that is to say,
a lie; and only rigid cultivation can enable a man to find
truth in a lie. But it enabled Mr. Ruskin to do it,
and it has enabled me to do it, and I am thankful for it.
A Boston newspaper reporter went and took a look at the Slave
Ship floundering about in that fierce conflagration of reds
and yellows, and said it reminded him of a tortoise-shell
cat having a fit in a platter of tomatoes. In my then
uneducated state, that went home to my non-cultivation,
|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 Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:
She hoards, to spend when he is by to hear her;
When sighs, and groans, and tears may grace the fashion
Of her disgrace, the better so to clear her
From that suspicion which the world my might bear her.
To shun this blot, she would not blot the letter
With words, till action might become them better.
To see sad sights moves more than hear them told;
For then the eye interprets to the ear
The heavy motion that it doth behold,
When every part a part of woe doth bear.
'Tis but a part of sorrow that we hear: