|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:
We had for our chaplain a zealous Presbyterian minister, Mr. Beatty,
who complained to me that the men did not generally attend his prayers
and exhortations. When they enlisted, they were promised, besides pay
and provisions, a gill of rum a day, which was punctually serv'd
out to them, half in the morning, and the other half in the evening;
and I observ'd they were as punctual in attending to receive it;
upon which I said to Mr. Beatty, "It is, perhaps, below the dignity
of your profession to act as steward of the rum, but if you were to deal
it out and only just after prayers, you would have them all about you."
He liked the tho't, undertook the office, and, with the help of a
few hands to measure out the liquor, executed it to satisfaction,
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 Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
forward to cast off the line by which the schooner had been tied
up to one of the whale's flukes.
"Cut it!" cried the girl. "Don't stop to cast off."
There was a hail from the beach-combers; the port sweeps dipped
and the junk bore up nearer.
"Hurry!" shouted Moran, "don't mind them. Are we clear for'ard--
what's the trouble? Something's holding her." The schooner listed
slowly to starboard and settled by the head.
"All clear!" cried Wilbur.
"There's something wrong!" exclaimed Moran; "she's settling
for'ard." Hoang hailed the schooner a second time.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:
with us, and when I felt I couldn't leave them, and couldn't
leave you either, I remembered the bracelet; and I sent you off
to telephone while I rushed round the corner to a little
jeweller's where I'd been before, and pawned it so that you
shouldn't have to pay for the children .... But now, darling,
you see, if you've got all that money, I can get it out of pawn
at once, can't I, and send it back to her?"
She flung her arms about him, and he held her fast, wondering if
the tears he felt were hers or his. Still he did not speak; but
as he clasped her close she added, with an irrepressible flash
of her old irony: "Not that Ellie will understand why I've done
|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 Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy:
new travellers entered the car, among whom was a tall old man,
shaven and wrinkled, evidently a merchant, wearing a large
heavily-lined cloak and a big cap. This merchant sat down
opposite the empty seats of the lawyer and his companion, and
straightway entered into conversation with a young man who seemed
like an employee in some commercial house, and who had likewise
just boarded the train. At first the clerk had remarked that the
seat opposite was occupied, and the old man had answered that he
should get out at the first station. Thus their conversation
I was sitting not far from these two travellers, and, as the
The Kreutzer Sonata