|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
grass like a horse and leaves all his harness behind in the
stable. I would say to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Knowledge, sometimes,--Go to grass. You have eaten hay long
enough. The spring has come with its green crop. The very cows
are driven to their country pastures before the end of May;
though I have heard of one unnatural farmer who kept his cow in
the barn and fed her on hay all the year round. So, frequently,
the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge treats its
A man's ignorance sometimes is not only useful, but
beautiful--while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
build houses, (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land: they
can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing till they arrive
at six years old; except where they are of towardly parts,
although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier; during
which time they can however be properly looked upon only as
probationers: As I have been informed by a principal gentleman in
the county of Cavan, who protested to me, that he never knew
above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part
of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that
I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve
A Modest Proposal
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:
animals, and in their midst a tower, at the foot of which something
with wheels smoked and panted like an exhausted horse. He sought
the Sheik of the Outfit.
"What sin art thou committing now, O son of a Christian dog?" said
the Fogy, with a truly Oriental politeness.
"Boring for water, you black-and-tan galoot!" replied the Sheik of
the Outfit, with that ready repartee which distinguishes the
"Knowest thou not, thou whelp of darkness and father of disordered
livers," cried the Fogy, "that water will cause grass to spring up
here, and trees, and possibly even flowers? Knowest thou not, that
|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 Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
disappeared. He was always back in the morning, however, looking dirty
and very tired. Sara Lee sewed more than one rent for him, those days,
but she was strangely incurious. It was as though, where everything was
strange, Henri's erratic comings and goings were but a part with the rest.
Then one night the unexpected happened. The village was shelled.
Sara Lee had received her first letter from Harvey that day. The maid
at Morley's had forwarded it to her, and Henri had brought it up.
"I think I have brought you something you wish for very much," he said,
looking down at her.
"Mutton?" she inquired anxiously.
" Better than that."