|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:
plot. But Patrick readily made me acquainted with what had gone
before. Indeed, it is one of life's greatest charms as a story-
teller that there is never any trouble about getting a brief resume
of the argument, and even a listener who arrives late is soon put
into touch with the course of the narrative.
We had hauled our canoes and camp-stuff over the terrible road that
leads to the lake, with much creaking and groaning of wagons, and
complaining of men, who declared that the mud grew deeper and the
hills steeper every year, and vowed their customary vow never to
come that way again. At last our tents were pitched in a green
copse of balsam trees, close beside the water. The delightful sense
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sanitary and Social Lectures by Charles Kingsley:
a new start, new hopes, new duties. For not without the deepest
physical as well as moral meaning, was baptism chosen by the old
Easterns, and adopted by our Lord Jesus Christ, as the sign of a
new life; and outward purity made the token and symbol of that
inward purity which is the parent of self-respect, and manliness,
and a clear conscience; of the free forehead, and the eye which
meets boldly and honestly the eye of its fellow-man.
But would that mere physical dirt were all that the lad has to
contend with. There is the desire of enjoyment. Moral and
intellectual enjoyment he has none, and can have none: but not to
enjoy something is to be dead in life; and to the lowest physical
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner:
now," said Tant Sannie, blushing and smoothing out her apron.
Upon this they all trudged round the house in company--the Hottentot maid
carrying the light, Tant Sannie and the German following, and the Kaffer
girl bringing up the rear.
"Oh," said Tant Sannie, "I see now it wasn't wickedness made him do without
his wife so long--only necessity."
At the door she motioned to the German to enter, and followed him closely.
On the stretcher behind the sacks Bonaparte lay on his face, his head
pressed into a pillow, his legs kicking gently. The Boer-woman sat down on
a box at the foot of the bed. The German stood with folded hands looking
|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 Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
you?' he asked.
Marjory made no answer.
'Speak up, girl,' said the parson.
'Nay, now,' returned Will, 'I wouldn't press her, parson. I feel
tongue-tied myself, who am not used to it; and she's a woman, and
little more than a child, when all is said. But for my part, as
far as I can understand what people mean by it, I fancy I must be
what they call in love. I do not wish to be held as committing
myself; for I may be wrong; but that is how I believe things are
with me. And if Miss Marjory should feel any otherwise on her
part, mayhap she would be so kind as shake her head.'