|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
he heard that note?
The merit of this bird's strain is in its freedom from all
plaintiveness. The singer can easily move us to tears or to
laughter, but where is he who can excite in us a pure morning
joy? When, in doleful dumps, breaking the awful stillness of our
wooden sidewalk on a Sunday, or, perchance, a watcher in the
house of mourning, I hear a cockerel crow far or near, I think to
myself, "There is one of us well, at any rate,"--and with a
sudden gush return to my senses.
We had a remarkable sunset one day last November. I was walking
in a meadow, the source of a small brook, when the sun at last,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Chronicles of the Canongate by Walter Scott:
fight like a jackanapes, with hands and nails."
"How would you fight then?" said his antagonist; "though I am
thinking it would be hard to bring you to the scratch anyhow."
"I would fight with proadswords, and sink point on the first
plood drawn--like a gentlemans."
A loud shout of laughter followed the proposal, which indeed had
rather escaped from poor Robin's swelling heart, than been the
dictate of his sober judgment.
"Gentleman, quotha!" was echoed on all sides, with a shout of
unextinguishable laughter; "a very pretty gentleman, God wot.
--Canst get two swords for the gentleman to fight with, Ralph
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Youth by Joseph Conrad:
then in the Mediterranean, and last in the West Indian
trade. He had never been round the Capes. He could
just write a kind of sketchy hand, and didn't care for
writing at all. Both were thorough good seamen of
course, and between those two old chaps I felt like a
small boy between two grandfathers.
"The ship also was old. Her name was the Judea.
Queer name, isn't it? She belonged to a man Wilmer,
Wilcox--some name like that; but he has been bankrupt
and dead these twenty years or more, and his name don't
matter. She had been laid up in Shadwell basin for ever
|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 Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, etc. by Oscar Wilde:
the Pagan world, requires a victim as well as a priest. Not being
a genius, he had no enemies, and indeed he felt that this was not
the time for the gratification of any personal pique or dislike,
the mission in which he was engaged being one of great and grave
solemnity. He accordingly made out a list of his friends and
relatives on a sheet of notepaper, and after careful consideration,
decided in favour of Lady Clementina Beauchamp, a dear old lady who
lived in Curzon Street, and was his own second cousin by his
mother's side. He had always been very fond of Lady Clem, as every
one called her, and as he was very wealthy himself, having come
into all Lord Rugby's property when he came of age, there was no