|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:
files by his biting sarcasms aimed at the tall one.
And it was not long before all the men seemed
to forget their mission. Whole brigades grinned
in unison, and regiments laughed.
A rather fat soldier attempted to pilfer a horse
from a dooryard. He planned to load his knap-
sack upon it. He was escaping with his prize
when a young girl rushed from the house and
grabbed the animal's mane. There followed a
wrangle. The young girl, with pink cheeks and
shining eyes, stood like a dauntless statue.
The Red Badge of Courage
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft:
man's birthright for a mess of pottage. Well
may Thomas Campbell say--
United States, your banner wears,
Two emblems,--one of fame,
Alas, the other that it bears
Reminds us of your shame!
The white man's liberty in types
Stands blazoned by your stars;
But what's the meaning of your stripes?
They mean your Negro-scars.
When the time had arrived for us to start, we
Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
These ancient seafarers had houses and lands not outwardly
different from other Dunnet Landing dwellings, and two of them were
fathers of families, but their true dwelling places were the sea,
and the stony beach that edged its familiar shore, and the fish-
houses, where much salt brine from the mackerel kits had soaked the
very timbers into a state of brown permanence and petrifaction. It
had also affected the old fishermen's hard complexions, until one
fancied that when Death claimed them it could only be with the aid,
not of any slender modern dart, but the good serviceable harpoon of
a seventeenth century woodcut.
Elijah Tilley was such an evasive, discouraged-looking person,
|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 A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy:
Renaissance workmanship. He reaches a door on the first floor,
over which is painted, in black letters, 'Mr. Henry Knight'--
'Barrister-at-law' being understood but not expressed. The wall
is thick, and there is a door at its outer and inner face. The
outer one happens to be ajar: Stephen goes to the other, and taps.
'Come in!' from distant penetralia.
First was a small anteroom, divided from the inner apartment by a
wainscoted archway two or three yards wide. Across this archway
hung a pair of dark-green curtains, making a mystery of all within
the arch except the spasmodic scratching of a quill pen. Here was
grouped a chaotic assemblage of articles--mainly old framed prints
A Pair of Blue Eyes