|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Bronte Sisters:
'Mrs. Huntingdon, I must leave you to-morrow.'
'To-morrow!' I repeated. 'I do not ask the cause.'
'You know it then, and you can be so calm!' said he, surveying me
with profound astonishment, not unmingled with a kind of resentful
bitterness, as it appeared to me.
'I have so long been aware of - ' I paused in time, and added, 'of
my husband's character, that nothing shocks me.'
'But this - how long have you been aware of this?' demanded he,
laying his clenched hand on the table beside him, and looking me
keenly and fixedly in the face.
I felt like a criminal.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay:
should need. Thomas took his bride to a tiny house in
Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where they lived for about a year, and
where a daughter was born to them.
Then they moved to a small farm thirteen miles from
Elizabethtown, which they bought on credit, the country being yet
so new that there were places to be had for mere promises to pay.
Farms obtained on such terms were usually of very poor quality,
and this one of Thomas Lincoln's was no exception to the rule. A
cabin ready to be occupied stood on it, however; and not far
away, hidden in a pretty clump of trees and bushes, was a fine
spring of water, because of which the place was known as Rock
|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 Abyssinia by Father Lobo:
penetrate it. His sight is extremely quick, and at a great
distance. In the water he is daring and fierce, and will seize on
any that are so unfortunate as to be found by him bathing, who, if
they escape with life, are almost sure to leave some limb in his
mouth. Neither I, nor any with whom I have conversed about the
crocodile, have ever seen him weep, and therefore I take the liberty
of ranking all that hath been told us of his tears amongst the
fables which are only proper to amuse children.
The hippopotamus, or river-horse, grazes upon the land and browses
on the shrubs, yet is no less dangerous than the crocodile. He is
the size of an ox, of a brown colour without any hair, his tail is
|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 Frances Waldeaux by Rebecca Davis:
he were going to run down a rabbit. Last night at
Stirling, over his beer, he held forth upon the dimples
on Miss Dunbar's pink elbows, and asked me if her hair
were all her own. I said, at last, that American men did
not value women like sheep by their flesh and fleece and
the money they were rated at in the market. I hit him
square that time, prince or no prince!"
"Yes, you did, indeed," said Jean vaguely. Her keen eyes
followed Lucy and the prince, who were loitering through
the gallery, pausing before the faded portraits. "You
think it is only her money that draws him after us?"