|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Selected Writings of Guy De Maupassant by Guy De Maupassant:
baron immediately sent for Le Devoir.
The latter was an old corporal who had never been seen to smile,
but who carried out all the orders of his superiors to the
letter, no matter what they might be. He stood there, with an
impassive face while he received the baron's instructions, and
then went out; five minutes later a large wagon belonging to the
military train, covered with a miller's tilt, galloped off as
fast as four horses could take it, under the pouring rain, and
the officers all seemed to awaken from their lethargy, their
looks brightened, and they began to talk.
Although it was raining as hard as ever, the major declared that
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:
men who felt that they had a commission from the God of light and
truth and purity, to sweep out all that with the besom of
But that was a later inspiration. In earlier, and it may be
happier, times the duty of the good man was to strive against all
evil, disorder, uselessness, incompetence in their more simple
forms. "He therefore is a holy man," says Ormuzd in the Zend-
avesta, "who has built a dwelling on the earth, in which he
maintains fire, cattle, his wife, his children, and flocks and
herds; he who makes the earth produce barley, he who cultivates the
fruits of the soil, cultivates purity; he advances the law of Ahura
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tin Woodman of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
sleep from his eyes with his knuckles and giving three
wide yawns to prove he was fully awake.
"A Sign," said the Tin Woodman. "A Sign, and another path."
"What does the Sign say?" inquired the boy.
"It says that 'All Strangers are Warned not to Follow
this Path to Loonville,'" answered the Scarecrow, who
could read very well when his eyes had been freshly
"In that case," said the boy, opening his knapsack to
get some breakfast, "let us travel in some other
The Tin Woodman of Oz
|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 Roads of Destiny by O. Henry:
what do you think he wants me to do? Why, knowing my freedom, charm,
and skilfulness of tongue, he proposes that I go into the /patio/ at
midnight, when the hobgoblin face of me cannot be seen, and make love
to her for him--for the pretty man that she has seen on the plaza,
thinking him to be Don Judson Tate.
"Why shouldn't I do it for him--for my friend, Fergus McMahan? For him
to ask me was a compliment--an acknowledgment of his own shortcomings.
"'You little, lily white, fine-haired, highly polished piece of dumb
sculpture,' says I, 'I'll help you. Make your arrangements and get me
in the dark outside her window and my stream of conversation opened up
with the moonlight tremolo stop turned on, and she's yours.'