|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Young Forester by Zane Grey:
been lopped, and lay where they had fallen. It was a wilderness of yellow
brush, a dry jungle. The smell of pine was so powerful that I could hardly
breathe. Fire must inevitably complete this work of ruin; already I was
forester enough to see that.
Presently the trail crossed a railroad track which appeared to have been
hastily constructed. Swinging along at a rapid step on the ties I soon
reached the outskirts of the huge stacks of lumber; I must have walked half
a mile between two yellow walls. Then I entered the lumber camp.
It was even worse-looking than the slash. Rows of dirty tents, lines of
squatty log-cabins, and many flat-board houses clustered around an immense
sawmill. Evidently I had arrived at the noon hour, for the mill was not
The Young Forester
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Footnote to History by Robert Louis Stevenson:
they began to arrive: on the 2nd twenty boats, on the 3rd twenty-
nine, on the 5th seventeen. On the 6th the position Mataafa had so
long occupied on the skirts of Apia was deserted; all that day and
night his force kept streaming eastward to Laulii; and on the 7th
the siege of Lotoanuu was opened with a brisk skirmish.
Each side built forts, facing across the gorge of a brook. An
endless fusillade and shouting maintained the spirit of the
warriors; and at night, even if the firing slackened, the pickets
continued to exchange from either side volleys of songs and pungent
pleasantries. Nearer hostilities were rendered difficult by the
nature of the ground, where men must thread dense bush and clamber
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson:
dare say you've seen dead men in your time, my lord?" he added,
glancing at the armour.
"Many," said the old man. "I have followed the wars, as you
Villon laid down his knife and fork, which he had just taken up
"Were any of them bald?" he asked.
"Oh yes, and with hair as white as mine."
"I don't think I should mind the white so much," said Villon. "His
was red." And he had a return of his shuddering and tendency to
laughter, which he drowned with a great draught of wine. "I'm a
|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 Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
grew silent as he watched the mournful face of the young man; for
though old painters have none of such petty scruples in presence of
their art, yet they admire them in others, when they are fresh and
pleasing. The young man held his hand on his sword, and his ear seemed
glued to the panel of the door. Both men, standing darkly in the
shadow, looked like conspirators waiting the hour to strike a tyrant.
"Come in! come in!" cried the old man, beaming with happiness. "My
work is perfect; I can show it now with pride. Never shall painter,
brushes, colors, canvas, light, produce the rival of Catherine
Lescaut, the Beautiful Nut-girl."
Porbus and Poussin, seized with wild curiosity, rushed into the middle