|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell:
stiff and proud in his gray uniform, his great brown eyes shining
out of the frame and a shy smile on his lips.
Scarlett did not even glance at the picture but went unhesitatingly
across the room to the square rosewood writing box that stood on the
table beside the narrow bed. From it she took a pack of letters
tied together with a blue ribbon, addressed in Ashley's hand to
Melanie. On the top was the letter which had come that morning and
this one she opened.
When Scarlett first began secretly reading these letters, she had
been so stricken of conscience and so fearful of discovery she
could hardly open the envelopes for trembling. Now, her never-
Gone With the Wind
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
deference to the makers of idylls and to philanthropists, the
inhabitants of the provinces have very little idea of certain virtues;
and their scruples are of a kind that is roused by self-interest, and
not by any sentiment of the right or the becoming. Raised from infancy
with no prospect before them but poverty and ceaseless labor, they are
led to consider anything that saves them from the hell of hunger and
eternal toil as permissible, particularly if it is not contrary to any
law. Exceptions to this rule are rare. Virtue, socially speaking, is
the companion of a comfortable life, and comes only with education.
Thus the Rabouilleuse was an object of envy to all the young peasant-
girls within a circuit of ten miles, although her conduct, from a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:
still be brief and seizing. Talk should proceed by instances; by
the apposite, not the expository. It should keep close along the
lines of humanity, near the bosoms and businesses of men, at the
level where history, fiction and experience intersect and
illuminate each other. I am I, and You are You, with all my heart;
but conceive how these lean propositions change and brighten when,
instead of words, the actual you and I sit cheek by jowl, the
spirit housed in the live body, and the very clothes uttering
voices to corroborate the story in the face. Not less surprising
is the change when we leave off to speak of generalities - the bad,
the good, the miser, and all the characters of Theophrastus - 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 The Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde:
Good men will die: men by whose side the Duke
In all the sick pollution of his life
Seems like a leper: women and children die,
But the Duke will not die, he is too sinful.
Oh, can it be
There is some immortality in sin,
Which virtue has not? And does the wicked man
Draw life from what to other men were death,
Like poisonous plants that on corruption live?
No, no, I think God would not suffer that:
Yet the Duke will not die: he is too sinful.