|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen:
"He would certainly have done more justice to
simple and elegant prose. I thought so at the time;
but you WOULD give him Cowper."
"Nay, Mamma, if he is not to be animated by Cowper!--
but we must allow for difference of taste. Elinor has
not my feelings, and therefore she may overlook it, and
be happy with him. But it would have broke MY heart,
had I loved him, to hear him read with so little sensibility.
Mama, the more I know of the world, the more am I convinced
that I shall never see a man whom I can really love.
I require so much! He must have all Edward's virtues,
Sense and Sensibility
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
But my point was gained, because he had to raise his voice to give
me his tale. It is not worth while to record his version.
It was just over two months since all this had happened, and he had thought
so much about it that he seemed completely muddled as to its bearings,
but still immensely impressed.
"What would you think of such a thing happening on board your own ship?
I've had the Sephora for these fifteen years. I am a well-known shipmaster."
He was densely distressed--and perhaps I should have sympathized
with him if I had been able to detach my mental vision
from the unsuspected sharer of my cabin as though he were my
second self. There he was on the other side of the bulkhead,
The Secret Sharer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay:
the attention of the whole country upon them, and, in the end, to
have far-reaching consequences of which neither at that time
dreamed. At first the field appeared much narrower, though even
then the reward was a large one. Lincoln had entered the contest
with no thought of political gain; but it happened that a new
United States senator from Illinois had to be chosen about that
time. Senators are not voted for by the people, but by the
legislatures of their respective States and as a first result of
all this discussion about the right or wrong of slavery it was
found that the Illinois legislature, instead of having its usual
large Democratic majority, was almost evenly divided. Lincoln
|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 Charmides by Plato:
the eyes. And therefore if the head and body are to be well, you must
begin by curing the soul; that is the first thing. And the cure, my dear
youth, has to be effected by the use of certain charms, and these charms
are fair words; and by them temperance is implanted in the soul, and where
temperance is, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but
to the whole body. And he who taught me the cure and the charm at the same
time added a special direction: 'Let no one,' he said, 'persuade you to
cure the head, until he has first given you his soul to be cured by the
charm. For this,' he said, 'is the great error of our day in the treatment
of the human body, that physicians separate the soul from the body.' And
he added with emphasis, at the same time making me swear to his words, 'Let