|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Options by O. Henry:
it's for his capture and conviction. There don't seem to be no
provision made for an informer.'
"'It looks like it might rain in a day or so,' says I, in a tired way,
looking up at the cerulean blue sky.
"'If you know anything about the locality, disposition, or
secretiveness of this here Black Bill,' says he, in a severe dialect,
'you are amiable to the law in not reporting it.'
"'I heard a fence-rider say,' says I, in a desultory kind of voice,
'that a Mexican told a cowboy named Jake over at Pidgin's store on the
Nueces that he heard that Black Bill had been seen in Matamoras by a
sheepman's cousin two weeks ago.'
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
all sperm whales dying--the turning sunwards of the head, and so
expiring--that strange spectacle, beheld of such a placid evening,
somehow to Ahab conveyed a wondrousness unknown before.
"He turns and turns him to it,--how slowly, but how steadfastly, his
homage-rendering and invoking brow, with his last dying motions. He
too worships fire; most faithful, broad, baronial vassal of the
sun!--Oh that these too-favouring eyes should see these too-favouring
sights. Look! here, far water-locked; beyond all hum of human weal
or woe; in these most candid and impartial seas; where to traditions
no rocks furnish tablets; where for long Chinese ages, the billows
have still rolled on speechless and unspoken to, as stars that shine
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Just Folks by Edgar A. Guest:
I know a wonderful land, I said,
Where the skies are always blue,
Where on chocolate drops are the children fed,
And cocoanut cookies, too;
Where puppy dogs romp at the children's feet,
And the liveliest kittens play,
And little tin soldiers guard the street
To frighten the bears away.
This land is reached by a wonderful ship
That sails on a golden tide;
But never a grown-up makes the trip--
|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 Menexenus by Plato:
animals selected and brought forth man, who is superior to the rest in
understanding, and alone has justice and religion. And a great proof that
she brought forth the common ancestors of us and of the departed, is that
she provided the means of support for her offspring. For as a woman proves
her motherhood by giving milk to her young ones (and she who has no
fountain of milk is not a mother), so did this our land prove that she was
the mother of men, for in those days she alone and first of all brought
forth wheat and barley for human food, which is the best and noblest
sustenance for man, whom she regarded as her true offspring. And these are
truer proofs of motherhood in a country than in a woman, for the woman in
her conception and generation is but the imitation of the earth, and not