|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I
hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance
in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year
old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether
stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it
will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust.
I do therefore humbly offer it to publick consideration, that of
the hundred and twenty thousand children, already computed,
twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one
fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep,
A Modest Proposal
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
judged it was something a dog could not understand, but which was
clear to a man and dreadful.
They called and called--days and nights, it seemed to me.
So long that the hunger and thirst near drove me mad, and I
recognized that I was getting very weak. When you are this way you
sleep a great deal, and I did. Once I woke in an awful fright--
it seemed to me that the calling was right there in the garret!
And so it was: it was Sadie's voice, and she was crying; my name
was falling from her lips all broken, poor thing, and I could not
believe my ears for the joy of it when I heard her say:
"Come back to us--oh, come back to us, and forgive--it is all so sad
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Enchanted Island of Yew by L. Frank Baum:
robbed tried to fight them; but they were a terrible people,
consisting of giants with huge clubs, and dwarfs who threw flaming
darts, and the stern Gray Men of Spor, who were most frightful of all.
So, as a rule, every one fled before them, and the people were
thankful that the fierce warriors of Spor seldom came to rob them
oftener than once a year.
It was on this account that all who could afford the expense built
castles to live in, with stone walls so thick that even the giants of
Spor could not batter them down. And the children were not allowed to
stray far from home for fear some roving band of robbers might steal
them and make their parents pay large sums for their safe return.
The Enchanted Island of Yew
|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 Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:
had no fair vent for their "humors," save in being reconciled to
the Church of Rome, and plotting with Jesuits to assassinate the
queen, as Parry and Somerville, and many other madmen, did.
So, at least, some Jesuit or other seems to have thought, shortly
after Amyas had agreed to give the spendthrift a berth on board.
For one day Amyas, going down to Appledore about his business, was
called into the little Mariners' Rest inn, to extract therefrom
poor Will Parracombe, who (in spite of his vow) was drunk and
outrageous, and had vowed the death of the landlady and all her
kin. So Amyas fetched him out by the collar, and walked him home
thereby to Bideford; during which walk Will told him a long and