|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
table-leg, and when picked up show a gaping, inefficient beak
which would have discouraged any man of literary instincts. But
not me! "Never mind. This will do."
O days without guile! If anybody had told me then that a devoted
household, having a generally exaggerated idea of my talents and
importance, would be put into a state of tremor and flurry by the
fuss I would make because of a suspicion that somebody had
touched my sacrosanct pen of authorship, I would have never
deigned as much as the contemptuous smile of unbelief. There are
imaginings too unlikely for any kind of notice, too wild for
indulgence itself, too absurd for a smile. Perhaps, had that
A Personal Record
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Faith of Men by Jack London:
relaxation of the leg muscles pressed the rough-fibred noose into
his neck, while the upright position caused him much pain in his
wounded shoulder. He projected his under lip and expelled his
breath upwards along his face to blow the mosquitoes away from his
eyes. But the situation had its compensation. To be snatched from
the maw of death was well worth a little bodily suffering, only it
was unfortunate that he should miss the hanging of the Beaver.
And so he mused, till his eyes chanced to fall upon Batard, head
between fore paws and stretched on the ground asleep. And their
Leclere ceased to muse. He studied the animal closely, striving to
sense if the sleep were real or feigned. Batard's sides were
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:
And then there's this disgraceful affair of the bailiff --
but I can't speak of him now."
Bathsheba had so many reasons for uneasiness that
it seemed she did not think it worth while to dwell
upon any particular one. "Do as I told you, then"
she said in conclusion, closing the casement.
"Ay, ay, mistress; we will." they replied, and moved
That night at Coggan's, Gabriel Oak, beneath the
screen of closed eyelids, was busy with fancies, and full
of movement, like a river flowing rapidly under its ice.
Far From the Madding Crowd
|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 House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
in the arbor, where I used,--oh, very long ago, it seems to me,
after what has befallen us,--where I used to be so happy with
But the house was not altogether so dreary as Clifford imagined
it. They had not made many steps,--in truth, they were lingering
in the entry, with the listlessness of an accomplished purpose,
uncertain what to do next,--when Phoebe ran to meet them. On beholding
her, Hepzibah burst into tears. With all her might, she had staggered
onward beneath the burden of grief and responsibility, until now
that it was safe to fling it down. Indeed, she had not energy to
fling it down, but had ceased to uphold it, and suffered it to
House of Seven Gables