|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:
the square biretta on his bowed head, followed him, muttering
some prayers. Last of all came La Rapet, bent almost double, as
if she wished to prostrate herself; she walked with folded hands,
as if she were in church.
Honore saw them pass in the distance, and he asked: "Where is our
priest going to?" And his man, who was more acute, replied: "He
is taking the sacrament to your mother, of course!"
The peasant was not surprised and said: "That is quite possible,"
and went on with his work.
Mother Bontemps confessed, received absolution and extreme
unction, and the priest took his departure, leaving the two women
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
them and recollect myself. It is only after a long and serious
effort to recollect my best thoughts that I become again aware of
their cohabitancy. If it were not for such families as this, I
think I should move out of Concord.
We are accustomed to say in New England that few and fewer
pigeons visit us every year. Our forests furnish no mast for
them. So, it would seem, few and fewer thoughts visit each
growing man from year to year, for the grove in our minds is laid
waste--sold to feed unnecessary fires of ambition, or sent to
mill--and there is scarcely a twig left for them to perch on.
They no longer build nor breed with us. In some more genial
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:
me, when I ask, What is become of the freedom of an Englishman?
And where is the liberty and property that my old glorious friend
came over to assert? We have drove popery out of the nation, and
sent slavery to foreign climes. The arts only remain in bondage,
when a man of science and character shall be openly insulted in
the midst of the many useful services he is daily paying to the
publick. Was it ever heard, even in Turkey or Algiers, that a
state-astrologer was banter'd out of his life by an ignorant
impostor, or bawl'd out of the world by a pack of villanous,
deep-mouth'd hawkers? Though I print almanacks, and publish
advertisements; though I produce certificates under the ministers
|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 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:
and one of them, when he saw it, after musing a good while, turning
about to me, "I am sure," says he, "that man has no need of us; you
need do nothing but give him tools."
Then I brought them out all my store of tools, and gave every man a
digging-spade, a shovel, and a rake, for we had no barrows or
ploughs; and to every separate place a pickaxe, a crow, a broad
axe, and a saw; always appointing, that as often as any were broken
or worn out, they should be supplied without grudging out of the
general stores that I left behind. Nails, staples, hinges,
hammers, chisels, knives, scissors, and all sorts of ironwork, they
had without reserve, as they required; for no man would take more