|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
pleasure then comes to an end; 'the malady of not marking' overtakes
them; they read thenceforward by the eye alone and hear never again
the chime of fair words or the march of the stately period. NON
RAGIONIAM of these. But to all the step is dangerous; it involves
coming of age; it is even a kind of second weaning. In the past all
was at the choice of others; they chose, they digested, they read
aloud for us and sang to their own tune the books of childhood. In
the future we are to approach the silent, inexpressive type alone,
like pioneers; and the choice of what we are to read is in our own
hands thenceforward. For instance, in the passages already adduced,
I detect and applaud the ear of my old nurse; they were of her
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from 1984 by George Orwell:
in the meantime, is there anything that you wish to say before you leave?
Any message? Any question?.'
Winston thought. There did not seem to be any further question that he
wanted to ask: still less did he feel any impulse to utter high-sounding
generalities. Instead of anything directly connected with O'Brien or the
Brotherhood, there came into his mind a sort of composite picture of the
dark bedroom where his mother had spent her last days, and the little room
over Mr Charrington's shop, and the glass paperweight, and the steel
engraving in its rosewood frame. Almost at random he said:
'Did you ever happen to hear an old rhyme that begins "Oranges and lemons,
say the bells of St Clement's"?'
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wrecker by Stevenson & Osbourne:
shell, cocoanut bowls, snowy cocoanut plumes--evidences and
examples of another earth, another climate, another race, and
another (if a ruder) culture. Nor did these objects lack a fitting
commentary in the conversation of my new acquaintance.
Doubtless you have read his book. You know already how he
tramped and starved, and had so fine a profit of living, in his
days among the islands; and meeting him, as I did, one artist
with another, after months of offices and picnics, you can
imagine with what charm he would speak, and with what
pleasure I would hear. It was in such talks, which we were
both eager to repeat, that I first heard the names--first fell under
|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 The Witch, et. al by Anton Chekhov:
catch a wretched little pikelet or perch six inches long you have
to be thankful. There are not any gudgeon even worth talking
about. Every year it is worse and worse, and in a little while
there will be no fish at all. And take the rivers now . . . the
rivers are drying up, for sure."
"It is true; they are drying up."
"To be sure, that's what I say. Every year they are shallower and
shallower, and there are not the deep holes there used to be. And
do you see the bushes yonder?" the old man asked, pointing to one
side. "Beyond them is an old river-bed; it's called a backwater.
In my father's time the Pestchanka flowed there, but now look;