|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:
to an eye, thus sharpened by malignity, some stains
which lay concealed and unregarded, while none
thought it their interest to discover them; nor can
the most circumspect attention, or steady rectitude,
escape blame from censors, who have no inclination
to approve. Riches therefore, perhaps, do not so
often produce crimes as incite accusers.
The common charge against those who rise above
their original condition, is that of pride. It is
certain that success naturally confirms us in a
favourable opinion of our own abilities. Scarce any man
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Reason Discourse by Rene Descartes:
are awake, although sometimes the acts of our imagination are then as
lively and distinct, if not more so than in our waking moments, reason
further dictates that, since all our thoughts cannot be true because of
our partial imperfection, those possessing truth must infallibly be found
in the experience of our waking moments rather than in that of our dreams.
I would here willingly have proceeded to exhibit the whole chain of truths
which I deduced from these primary but as with a view to this it would
have been necessary now to treat of many questions in dispute among the
earned, with whom I do not wish to be embroiled, I believe that it will be
better for me to refrain from this exposition, and only mention in general
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
Laga; and, if there are any white people beyond, we will do our
best to find them.'
'You are very venturesome people,' said Mr Mackenzie,
with a smile, and the subject dropped.
ALPHONSE AND HIS ANNETTE
After dinner we thoroughly inspected all the outbuildings and
grounds of the station, which I consider the most successful
as well as the most beautiful place of the sort that I have seen
in Africa. We then returned to the veranda, where we found Umslopogaas
taking advantage of this favourable opportunity to clean all
|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 Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:
gious half light.
Near the threshold he stopped, horror-stricken
at the sight of a thing.
He was being looked at by a dead man who
was seated with his back against a columnlike
tree. The corpse was dressed in a uniform that
once had been blue, but was now faded to a mel-
ancholy shade of green. The eyes, staring at the
youth, had changed to the dull hue to be seen on
the side of a dead fish. The mouth was open.
Its red had changed to an appalling yellow.
The Red Badge of Courage