|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from St. Ives by Robert Louis Stevenson:
I had my strong effect in reserve; it was to burn my ships with a
vengeance! I rose. 'Leave the room,' said I. 'This is
insuperable. Is the man mad?' And then, as if already half-
ashamed of my passion: 'I can take a joke as well as any one,' I
added; 'but this passes measure. Send my servant and the bill.'
When he had left me alone, I considered my own valour with
amazement. I had insulted him; I had sent him away alone; now, if
ever, he would take what was the only sensible resource, and fetch
the constable. But there was something instinctively treacherous
about the man which shrank from plain courses. And, with all his
cleverness, he missed the occasion of fame. Rowley and I were
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
the sleeper's face. The archers, meanwhile, were stationed
within bow shot, with orders to let fly at Hercules the instant
that he stirred. Everything being in readiness, a torch was
applied to the pile, which immediately burst into flames, and
soon waxed hot enough to roast the enemy, had he but chosen to
lie still. A Pygmy, you know, though so very small, might set
the world on fire, just as easily as a Giant could; so that
this was certainly the very best way of dealing with their foe,
provided they could have kept him quiet while the conflagration
was going forward.
But no sooner did Hercules begin to be scorched, than up he
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn:
all: there is a wild hurrying and scurrying; swiftly, one after
another, the overburdened luggers spread wings and flutter away.
Thrice the great cry rings rippling through the gray air, and
over the green sea, and over the far-flooded shell-reefs, where
the huge white flashes are,--sheet-lightning of breakers,--and
over the weird wash of corpses coming in.
It is the steam-call of the relief-boat, hastening to rescue the
living, to gather in the dead.
The tremendous tragedy is over!
Out of the Sea's Strength
|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 Animal Farm by George Orwell:
after breakfast there was a ceremony which was observed every week without
fail. First came the hoisting of the flag. Snowball had found in the
harness-room an old green tablecloth of Mrs. Jones's and had painted on it
a hoof and a horn in white. This was run up the flagstaff in the farmhouse
garden every Sunday morning. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to
represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified
the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race
had been finally overthrown. After the hoisting of the flag all the
animals trooped into the big barn for a general assembly which was known
as the Meeting. Here the work of the coming week was planned out and
resolutions were put forward and debated. It was always the pigs who put