|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
and I hope you are."
"I am," said Dorothy. "I've only eaten a wheelbarrow and a piano
to-day--oh, yes! and a slice of bread and butter that used to be
"That sounds like a square meal," remarked the King, seating himself
opposite her; "but perhaps it wasn't a square piano. Eh?"
"You don't seem so very unhappy now," she said.
"But I am," protested the King, fresh tears gathering in his eyes.
"Even my jokes are miserable. I'm wretched, woeful, afflicted,
distressed and dismal as an individual can be. Are you not
The Emerald City of Oz
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:
prosperous village, in the rivulets brought from the mountains to
water the plain once barren and fruitless, now green and fertile. Not
a tree will be cut for a hundred years to come but the people of this
region will know of the remorse that made it grow. My repentant soul
will still live here among you. What you will owe to its efforts, to a
fortune honorably acquired, is the heritage of its repentance,--the
repentance of her who caused the crime. All has been repaired so far
as society is concerned; but I am still responsible for that life,
crushed in its bud,--a life confided to me and for which I am now
required to render an account."
The flame of her eyes was veiled in tears.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Misalliance by George Bernard Shaw:
HYPATIA. No it wouldnt. If you all sat in silence, as if you were
waiting for something to happen, then there would be hope even if
nothing did happen. But this eternal cackle, cackle, cackle about
things in general is only fit for old, old, OLD people. I suppose it
means something to them: theyve had their fling. All I listen for is
some sign of it ending in something; but just when it seems to be
coming to a point, Johnny or papa just starts another hare; and it all
begins over again; and I realize that it's never going to lead
anywhere and never going to stop. Thats when I want to scream. I
wonder how you can stand it.
LORD SUMMERHAYS. Well, I'm old and garrulous myself, you see.
|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 Some Reminiscences by Joseph Conrad:
of the Placid Gulf, the light on the snows, the clouds on the
sky, and for the breath of life that had to be blown into the
shapes of men and women, of Latin and Saxon, of Jew and Gentile.
These are, perhaps, strong words, but it is difficult to
characterise otherwise the intimacy and the strain of a creative
effort in which mind and will and conscience are engaged to the
full, hour after hour, day after day, away from the world, and to
the exclusion of all that makes life really lovable and gentle--
something for which a material parallel can only be found in the
everlasting sombre stress of the westward winter passage round
Cape Horn. For that too is the wrestling of men with the might