|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lost Princess of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
and the book itself was chained to the table and locked with six stout
golden padlocks, the keys to which Glinda carried on a chain that was
secured around her own neck. The pages of the Great Book were larger
in size than those of an American newspaper, and although they were
exceedingly thin, there were so many of them that they made an
enormous, bulky volume. With its gold cover and gold clasps, the book
was so heavy that three men could scarcely have lifted it. Yet this
morning when Glinda entered her drawing room after breakfast, the good
Sorceress was amazed to discover that her Great Book of Records had
Advancing to the table, she found the chains had been cut with some sharp
The Lost Princess of Oz
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
and on the bastions and buttresses of the castle, and their
shadows lay in massy blackness on the illuminated walls:
on the other, it shone upon the woods, streaming far within
among the open trunks, or resting on the closer foliage.
The circumference of darkness bounded the scene on all sides:
and in the centre raged the war; shields, helmets, and bucklers
gleaming and glittering as they rang and clashed against each other;
plumes confusedly tossing in the crimson light, and the messy
light and shade that fell on the faces of the combatants,
giving additional energy to their ferocious expression.
John, drawing nearer to the scene of action, observed two young warriors
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Purse by Honore de Balzac:
disappears. If the work is a picture, the figures represented
seem to speak and walk; the shade is shadow, the light is day;
the flesh lives, eyes move, blood flows in their veins, and
stuffs have a changing sheen. Imagination helps the realism of
every detail, and only sees the beauties of the work. At that
hour illusion reigns despotically; perhaps it wakes at nightfall!
Is not illusion a sort of night to the mind, which we people with
dreams? Illusion then unfolds its wings, it bears the soul aloft
to the world of fancies, a world full of voluptuous imaginings,
where the artist forgets the real world, yesterday and the
morrow, the future--everything down to its miseries, the good and
|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 Adam Bede by George Eliot:
and reading, and thinks he's got to the bottom on't. 'Why, Lor'
bless you, Mills,' says I, 'you see no more into this thing nor
you can see into the middle of a potato. I'll tell you what it
is: you think it'll be a fine thing for the country. And I'm not
again' it--mark my words--I'm not again' it. But it's my opinion
as there's them at the head o' this country as are worse enemies
to us nor Bony and all the mounseers he's got at 's back; for as
for the mounseers, you may skewer half-a-dozen of 'em at once as
if they war frogs.'"
"Aye, aye," said Martin Poyser, listening with an air of much
intelligence and edification, "they ne'er ate a bit o' beef i'