|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
"You must not--you shall not behold this!" said I,
shudderingly, to Usher, as I led him, with a gentle violence,
from the window to a seat. "These appearances, which bewilder
you, are merely electrical phenomena not uncommon--or it may be
that they have their ghastly origin in the rank miasma of the
tarn. Let us close this casement;--the air is chilling and
dangerous to your frame. Here is one of your favourite romances.
I will read, and you shall listen;--and so we will pass away this
terrible night together."
The antique volume which I had taken up was the "Mad
Trist" of Sir Launcelot Canning; but I had called it a favourite
The Fall of the House of Usher
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Straight Deal by Owen Wister:
be started in life with a just and true notion of all flags and the
peoples over whom they fly! The League of Nations might not then rest
upon the quicksand of distrust and antagonism which it rests upon today.
But it is our own school histories that are my present concern, and I
repeat my opinion--or rather my conviction--that the way in which they
have concealed the truth from us is worse than silly, it is harmful. I am
not going to take up the whole list of their misrepresentations, I will
put but one or two questions to you.
When you finished school, what idea had you about the War of 1812? I will
tell you what mine was. I thought we had gone to war because England was
stopping American ships and taking American sailors out of them for her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:
childhood, by an education so abominable, that anyone who knows what
words she must have heard, what scenes she must have beheld in
France, from her youth up, will wonder that she sinned so little:
not that she sinned so much. One may feel, in a word, that there is
every excuse for those who have asserted Mary's innocence, because
their own high-mindedness shrank from believing her guilty: but
yet Buchanan, in his own place and time, may have felt as deeply
that he could do no otherwise than he did.
The charges against him, as all readers of Scotch literature know
well, may be reduced to two heads. 1st. The letters and sonnets
were forgeries. Maitland of Lethington may have forged the letters;
|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 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:
then, as a rival. He seized a tureen of hot apple sauce (the first
thing that came under his gripe) and dashed it full against the
speaker's face and neck; who instantly commenced a lament that
brought Isabella and Catherine hurrying to the place. Mr. Earnshaw
snatched up the culprit directly and conveyed him to his chamber;
where, doubtless, he administered a rough remedy to cool the fit of
passion, for he appeared red and breathless. I got the dishcloth,
and rather spitefully scrubbed Edgar's nose and mouth, affirming it
served him right for meddling. His sister began weeping to go
home, and Cathy stood by confounded, blushing for all.
'You should not have spoken to him!' she expostulated with Master