|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln:
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . .
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead,
who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power
to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember,
what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining
before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion
to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . .
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . .
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain:
they were going to remove the treasure. Why call
Tom now? It would be absurd -- the men would get
away with the box and never be found again. No, he
would stick to their wake and follow them; he would
trust to the darkness for security from discovery. So
communing with himself, Huck stepped out and glided
along behind the men, cat-like, with bare feet, allowing
them to keep just far enough ahead not to be invisible.
They moved up the river street three blocks, then
turned to the left up a cross-street. They went straight
ahead, then, until they came to the path that led up
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Laches by Plato:
something would improve some other thing, and were able to make the
addition, then, clearly, we must know how that about which we are advising
may be best and most easily attained. Perhaps you do not understand what I
mean. Then let me make my meaning plainer in this way. Suppose we knew
that the addition of sight makes better the eyes which possess this gift,
and also were able to impart sight to the eyes, then, clearly, we should
know the nature of sight, and should be able to advise how this gift of
sight may be best and most easily attained; but if we knew neither what
sight is, nor what hearing is, we should not be very good medical advisers
about the eyes or the ears, or about the best mode of giving sight and
hearing to them.
|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 Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson:
climb beyond teaching to the plane of art; it is themselves,
and what is best in themselves, that they communicate.
I should never forgive myself if I forgot THE EGOIST. It is
art, if you like, but it belongs purely to didactic art, and
from all the novels I have read (and I have read thousands)
stands in a place by itself. Here is a Nathan for the modern
David; here is a book to send the blood into men's faces.
Satire, the angry picture of human faults, is not great art;
we can all be angry with our neighbour; what we want is to be
shown, not his defects, of which we are too conscious, but
his merits, to which we are too blind. And THE EGOIST is a