|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:
younger generations of our educated classes as it was forty years
ago. In those days, any child who expressed a doubt as to the
absolute truth of the Church's teaching, even to the extent of
asking why Joshua told the sun to stand still instead of telling
the earth to cease turning, or of pointing out that a whale's
throat would hardly have been large enough to swallow Jonah, was
unhesitatingly told that if it harboured such doubts it would
spend all eternity after its death in horrible torments in a lake
of burning brimstone. It is difficult to write or read this
nowadays without laughing; yet no doubt millions of ignorant and
credulous people are still teaching their children that. When
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson:
inhabitant that must have lit it; and this comforted my heart.
So I set forward by a little faint track in the grass that led in
my direction. It was very faint indeed to be the only way to a
place of habitation; yet I saw no other. Presently it brought me
to stone uprights, with an unroofed lodge beside them, and coats
of arms upon the top. A main entrance it was plainly meant to
be, but never finished; instead of gates of wrought iron, a pair
of hurdles were tied across with a straw rope; and as there were
no park walls, nor any sign of avenue, the track that I was
following passed on the right hand of the pillars, and went
wandering on toward the house.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Faith of Men by Jack London:
quick upon the sled and bring him to me.'
"I waited and gave good advice to the faithful ones till Angeit
returned. Moosu was on the sled, and I saw by the fingermarks on
his face that his womankind had done well by him. But he tumbled
off and fell in the snow at my feet, crying: 'O master, thou wilt
forgive Moosu, thy servant, for the wrong things he has done! Thou
art a great man! Surely wilt thou forgive!'
"'Call me "brother," Moosu--call me "brother,"' I chided, lifting
him to his feet with the toe of my moccasin. 'Wilt thou evermore
"'Yea, master,' he whimpered, 'evermore.'
|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 Youth by Joseph Conrad:
shore, the jetty, the high-sterned outlandish craft float-
ing still, and the three boats with tired men from the
West sleeping unconscious of the land and the people
and of the violence of sunshine. They slept thrown
across the thwarts, curled on bottom-boards, in the care-
less attitudes of death. The head of the old skipper,
leaning back in the stern of the long-boat, had fallen on
his breast, and he looked as though he would never wake.
Farther out old Mahon's face was upturned to the sky,
with the long white beard spread out on his breast, as
though he had been shot where he sat at the tiller; and a