|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
before dawn, with Pembroke Howard, and if I got the twins into
the common calaboose--and I thought sure I could--I never dreamed
of their slipping out on a paltry fine for such an outrageous offense--
well, once in the calaboose they would be disgraced, and uncle wouldn't
want any duels with that sort of characters, and wouldn't allow any.
"Tom, I am ashamed of you! I don't see how you could treat
your good old uncle so. I am a better friend of his than you are;
for if I had known the circumstances I would have kept that case out
of court until I got word to him and let him have the gentleman's chance."
"You would?" exclaimed Tom, with lively surprise. "And it your
first case! And you know perfectly well there never would have _been_
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:
you have amassed this multitude of books and thereby and therefor
have neglected the duties and broken the rules of your Order,
you are now sentenced to read your books for ever and ever in
the fires of Hell.' Immediately, a roaring noise filled the air,
and a flaming chasm opened in which friars, and asses and books
were suddenly engulphed."
DUST AND NEGLECT.
DUST upon Books to any extent points to neglect, and neglect
means more or less slow Decay.
A well-gilt top to a book is a great preventive against damage by dust,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alexandria and her Schools by Charles Kingsley:
combustion, and phur the passive one. It was left for more patient and
less noisy men, like Grimm, Bopp, and Buttmann, to found a science of
philology, to discover for us those great laws which connect modern
philology with history, ethnology, physiology, and with the very deepest
questions of theology itself. And in the meanwhile, these Alexandrians'
worthless criticism has been utterly swept away; while their real work,
their accurate editions of the classics, remain to us as a precious
heritage. So it is throughout history: nothing dies which is worthy to
live. The wheat is surely gathered into the garner, the chaff is burnt
up by that eternal fire which, happily for this universe, cannot be
quenched by any art of man, but goes on forever, devouring without
|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 What is Man? by Mark Twain:
on either side. I couldn't shout at him--a beginner can't shout;
if he opens his mouth he is gone; he must keep all his attention
on his business. But in this grisly emergency, the boy came
to the rescue, and for once I had to be grateful to him.
He kept a sharp lookout on the swiftly varying impulses and
inspirations of my bicycle, and shouted to the man accordingly:
"To the left! Turn to the left, or this jackass 'll run over you!"
The man started to do it. "No, to the right, to the right!
Hold on! THAT won't do!--to the left!--to the right!--to the
LEFT--right! left--ri-- Stay where you ARE, or you're a goner!"
And just then I caught the off horse in the starboard and went
What is Man?