|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay:
the sword and three feet additional. The passing of his own line
by either man was to be deemed a surrender of the fight.
It is easy to see from these conditions that Lincoln refused to
consider the matter seriously, and determined to treat it as
absurdly as it deserved. He and Shields, and their respective
seconds, with the broadswords, hurried away to an island in the
Mississippi River, opposite Alton; but long before the plank was
set up, or swords were drawn, mutual friends took the matter out
of the hands of the seconds, and declared a settlement of the
The affair created much talk and merriment in Springfield, but
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Extracts From Adam's Diary by Mark Twain:
Rapids in a fig-leaf suit. It got much damaged. Hence, tedious
complaints about my extravagance. I am too much hampered here.
What I need is change of scene.
I escaped last Tuesday night, and travelled two days, and built
me another shelter, in a secluded place, and obliterated my tracks
as well as I could, but she hunted me out by means of a beast which
she has tamed and calls a wolf, and came making that pitiful noise
again, and shedding that water out of the places she looks with.
I was obliged to return with her, but will presently emigrate again,
when occasion offers. She engages herself in many foolish things:
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay:
his own photograph as an earnest, idealistic youth.
His other self spoke to him. He heard the sounds, but did not
comprehend the sense. Then the door was abruptly flung open, and a
short, brutish - looking individual leaped in. He began to behave in
an extraordinary manner to everyone around him; and after that came
straight up to him - Maskull. He spoke some words, but they were
incomprehensible. A terrible expression came over the newcomer's
face, and he grasped his neck with a pair of hairy hands. Maskull
felt his bones bending and breaking, excruciating pains passed
through all the nerves of his body, and he experienced a sense of
impending death. He cried out, and sank helplessly on the floor, in
|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 Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Crying from the desolate marshes,
Tells us that the day is ended."
Homeward weeping went Nokomis,
Sorrowing for her Hiawatha,
Fearing lest his strength should fail him,
Lest his fasting should be fatal.
He meanwhile sat weary waiting
For the coming of Mondamin,
Till the shadows, pointing eastward,
Lengthened over field and forest,
Till the sun dropped from the heaven,