|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:
a haunted stream, and fearful are the feelings of the school-boy
who has to pass it alone after dark.
As he approached the stream, his heart began to thump he
summoned up, however, all his resolution, gave his horse half a
score of kicks in the ribs, and attempted to dash briskly across
the bridge; but instead of starting forward, the perverse old
animal made a lateral movement, and ran broadside against the
fence. Ichabod, whose fears increased with the delay, jerked the
reins on the other side, and kicked lustily with the contrary
foot: it was all in vain; his steed started, it is true, but it
was only to plunge to the opposite side of the road into a
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare:
His Daughter, in love with Palamon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling:
They would have broken his Father's heart and killed his Mother
after killing her belief in her son.
At last the Major dried his eyes openly, and said: "Nice sort of
thing to spring on an English family! What shall we do?"
I said, knowing what the Major had brought me but for: "The Boy
died of cholera. We were with him at the time. We can't commit
ourselves to half-measures. Come along."
Then began one of the most grimy comic scenes I have ever taken
part in--the concoction of a big, written lie, bolstered with
evidence, to soothe The Boy's people at Home. I began the rough
draft of a letter, the Major throwing in hints here and there while
|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 Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
away hungry from the inhospitable board. The hospitality was as
cold as the ices. I thought that there was no need of ice to freeze
them. They talked to me of the age of the wine and the fame of the
vintage; but I thought of an older, a newer, and purer wine, of a
more glorious vintage, which they had not got, and could not buy.
The style, the house and grounds and "entertainment" pass for
nothing with me. I called on the king, but he made me wait in his
hall, and conducted like a man incapacitated for hospitality. There
was a man in my neighborhood who lived in a hollow tree. His
manners were truly regal. I should have done better had I called on