|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:
harmless collegiate, who, perhaps, intended
entertainment and instruction, or at worst only spoke
without sufficient reflection upon the character of
his hearers, is censured as arrogant or overbearing,
and eager to extend his renown, in contempt of the
convenience of society and the laws of conversation.
All discourse of which others cannot partake, is
not only an irksome usurpation of the time devoted
to pleasure and entertainment, but what never fails
to excite very keen resentment, an insolent assertion
of superiority, and a triumph over less enlightened
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Three Taverns by Edwin Arlington Robinson:
I told him that I did begin to see;
And I was nearer than I should have been
To laughing at his malign inclusiveness,
When I considered that, with all our speed,
We are not laughing yet at funerals.
I see him now as I could see him then,
And I see now that it was good for me,
As it was good for him, that I was quiet;
For Time's eye was on Ferguson, and the shaft
Of its inquiring hesitancy had touched him,
Or so I chose to fancy more than once
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer Abroad by Mark Twain:
listen. Then we see him begin to inch along again
toward the professor's feet where the steering-buttons
was. Well, he got there all safe, and was reaching
slow and steady toward the buttons, but he knocked
down something that made a noise, and we see him
slump down flat an' soft in the bottom, and lay still.
The professor stirred, and says, "What's that?" But
everybody kept dead still and quiet, and he begun to
mutter and mumble and nestle, like a person that's
going to wake up, and I thought I was going to die, I
was so worried and scared.
|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 Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
"And it leads into the city?"
"Straight into the monastery."
"Let us go, let us go at once."
"A bit of bread, in the name of Christ and of His holy mother!"
"Good, so be it. Stand here beside the waggon, or, better still, lie
down in it: no one will see you, all are asleep. I will return at
And he set off for the baggage waggons, which contained the provisions
belonging to their kuren. His heart beat. All the past, all that had
been extinguished by the Cossack bivouacks, and by the stern battle of
Taras Bulba and Other Tales