|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Georgics by Virgil:
And ashen poles and sturdy forks to shape,
Whereby supported they may learn to mount,
Laugh at the gales, and through the elm-tops win
From story up to story.
Now while yet
The leaves are in their first fresh infant growth,
Forbear their frailty, and while yet the bough
Shoots joyfully toward heaven, with loosened rein
Launched on the void, assail it not as yet
With keen-edged sickle, but let the leaves alone
Be culled with clip of fingers here and there.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Whirligigs by O. Henry:
at what he could see of his victims above the fallen horse.
Neither of them moved. He urged his horse a few
steps nearer. He saw the district attorney rise to one
knee and deliberately level his shotgun. He pulled his
hat down and awaited the harmless rattle of the tiny
The shotgun blazed with a heavy report. Mexico
Sam sighed, turned limp all over, and slowly fell from
his horse -- a dead rattlesnake.
At ten o'clock the next morning court opened, and the
case of the United States versus Rafael Ortiz was called.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
until it was late enough to go to bed...
It was not until William was waiting for his taxi the next afternoon that
he found himself alone with Isabel. When he brought his suit-case down
into the hall, Isabel left the others and went over to him. She stooped
down and picked up the suit-case. "What a weight!" she said, and she gave
a little awkward laugh. "Let me carry it! To the gate."
"No, why should you?" said William. "Of course, not. Give it to me."
"Oh, please, do let me," said Isabel. "I want to, really." They walked
together silently. William felt there was nothing to say now.
"There," said Isabel triumphantly, setting the suit-case down, and she
looked anxiously along the sandy road. "I hardly seem to have seen you
|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 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:
and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that
inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold
of the invisible. Perhaps! I like to think my summing-up would not
have been a word of careless contempt. Better his cry--much better.
It was an affirmation, a moral victory paid for by innumerable defeats,
by abominable terrors, by abominable satisfactions. But it was a victory!
That is why I have remained loyal to Kurtz to the last, and even beyond,
when a long time after I heard once more, not his own voice, but the echo
of his magnificent eloquence thrown to me from a soul as translucently
pure as a cliff of crystal.
"No, they did not bury me, though there is a period of time which I
Heart of Darkness