|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
"Yes, to them it must seem sad!" he thought. "But how simple it is.
"The fowls of the air sow not, neither do they reap, yet your Father
feedeth them," he said to himself and wished to say to Princess
Mary; "but no, they will take it their own way, they won't understand!
They can't understand that all those feelings they prize so- all our
feelings, all those ideas that seem so important to us, are
unnecessary. We cannot understand one another," and he remained
Prince Andrew's little son was seven. He could scarcely read, and
knew nothing. After that day he lived through many things, gaining
knowledge, observation, and experience, but had he possessed all the
War and Peace
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:
usefullest of arts or sciences, but which had clearness and accuracy, and
the greatest amount of truth, however humble and little useful an art. And
as for Gorgias, if you do not deny that his art has the advantage in
usefulness to mankind, he will not quarrel with you for saying that the
study of which I am speaking is superior in this particular of essential
truth; as in the comparison of white colours, a little whiteness, if that
little be only pure, was said to be superior in truth to a great mass which
is impure. And now let us give our best attention and consider well, not
the comparative use or reputation of the sciences, but the power or
faculty, if there be such, which the soul has of loving the truth, and of
doing all things for the sake of it; let us search into the pure element of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Red Seal by Natalie Sumner Lincoln:
The butler looked unconvinced. "It was about the police dogs," he
confided to her. "Thomas told him that Miss Helen wanted them
brought back, and the colonel swore at him - 'twas more than Thomas
could stand and he ups and goes." Barbara halted half way to the
door. "Did Thomas get the dogs?"
"You wait and see, miss." Grimes was guilty of a most undignified
wink. "Thomas ain't forgiven himself for not being here Monday night,
miss; though it wouldn't a done him any good; he wouldn't a heard Mr.
Turnbull climbing in or his arrest, away upstairs in the servants'
"Grimes," Barbara retracted her footsteps and placed her lips very
The Red Seal
|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 Night and Day by Virginia Woolf:
imagined. Directly he reached home he sat down at his table, and began
to write Katharine a long, wild, mad letter, begging her for both
their sakes to break with Rodney, imploring her not to do what would
destroy for ever the one beauty, the one truth, the one hope; not to
be a traitor, not to be a deserter, for if she were--and he wound up
with a quiet and brief assertion that, whatever she did or left
undone, he would believe to be the best, and accept from her with
gratitude. He covered sheet after sheet, and heard the early carts
starting for London before he went to bed.
The first signs of spring, even such as make themselves felt towards