|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln:
upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and
dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether
that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . .
can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place
for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . .
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead,
who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:
few minutes before an intelligent expression began to appear
in the eyes of some of the boys, and one of them, who was
always ready for anything new, turned to his companion and said:
"You go and find Chi, and bring him here."
"Who is Chi?" we inquired.
"He is the boy who knows more games than any of the rest of us,"
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Mrs. Hob had said her say at Cauldstaneslap. "Daft-like!" she had
pronounced it. "A jaiket that'll no meet! Whaur's the sense of a
jaiket that'll no button upon you, if it should come to be weet? What
do ye ca' thir things? Demmy brokens, d'ye say? They'll be brokens wi'
a vengeance or ye can win back! Weel, I have nae thing to do wi' it -
it's no good taste." Clem, whose purse had thus metamorphosed his
sister, and who was not insensible to the advertisement, had come to the
rescue with a "Hoot, woman! What do you ken of good taste that has
never been to the ceety?" And Hob, looking on the girl with pleased
smiles, as she timidly displayed her finery in the midst of the dark
kitchen, had thus ended the dispute: "The cutty looks weel," he had
|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 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:
laws, prejudices, deeds, men, things--went and came above him,
over his head, in accordance with the complicated and mysterious movement
which God imparts to civilization, walking over him and crushing him
with I know not what peacefulness in its cruelty and inexorability
in its indifference. Souls which have fallen to the bottom of all
possible misfortune, unhappy men lost in the lowest of those limbos at
which no one any longer looks, the reproved of the law, feel the whole
weight of this human society, so formidable for him who is without,
so frightful for him who is beneath, resting upon their heads.
In this situation Jean Valjean meditated; and what could
be the nature of his meditation?