|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain:
"Why, Tom, you know we heard--"
"Yes, we did--heard a howl or two. Does that prove anybody
was killed? Course it don't. And we seen four men run,
then this one come walking out and we took it for a ghost.
No more ghost than you are. It was Jake Dunlap his
own self, and it's Jake Dunlap now. He's been and got his
hair cropped, the way he said he would, and he's playing
himself for a stranger, just the same as he said he would.
Ghost? Hum!--he's as sound as a nut."
Then I see it all, and how we had took too much for granted.
I was powerful glad he didn't get killed, and so was Tom,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Finished by H. Rider Haggard:
It was a rough night. Thunder muttered and rain fell in driving
gusts. I dozed off, only to be awakened by a sound of wailing.
Then I knew that the king was dead, for this was the Isililo, the
cry of mourning. I wondered whether the murderers--for that he
was poisoned I had no doubt--were among those who wailed.
Towards dawn the storm rolled off and the night grew serene and
clear, for a waning moon was shining in the sky. The heat of
that stiffing place oppressed me; my blood seemed to be afire. I
knew that there was a stream in a gorge about half a mile away,
for it had been pointed out to me. I longed for a swim in cool
water, who, to tell truth, had found none for some days, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Essays & Lectures by Oscar Wilde:
affinity with certain sensuous forms of art - and to discern the
qualities of each art, to intensify as well its limitations as its
powers of expression, is one of the aims that culture sets before
us. It is not an increased moral sense, an increased moral
supervision that your literature needs. Indeed, one should never
talk of a moral or an immoral poem - poems are either well written
or badly written, that is all. And, indeed, any element of morals
or implied reference to a standard of good or evil in art is often
a sign of a certain incompleteness of vision, often a note of
discord in the harmony of an imaginative creation; for all good
work aims at a purely artistic effect. 'We must be careful,' said
|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 Faith of Men by Jack London:
way an evolution of primitive society. Now I, by virtue of the
hooch monopoly, drew a revenue in which I no longer permitted him
to share. So he meditated for a while and evolved a system of
ecclesiastical taxation. He laid tithes upon the people, harangued
about fat firstlings and such things, and twisted whatever twisted
texts he had ever heard to serve his purpose. Even this I bore in
silence, but when he instituted what may be likened to a graduated
income-tax, I rebelled, and blindly, for this was what he worked
for. Thereat, he appealed to the people, and they, envious of my
great wealth and well taxed themselves, upheld him. 'Why should we
pay,' they asked, 'and not you? Does not the voice of God speak