|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
the man had no control over them, and the street was full of traffic.
One young girl was knocked down and run over, and the next moment they
dashed up against our cab; both the wheels were torn off and the cab
was thrown over. Captain was dragged down, the shafts splintered,
and one of them ran into his side. Jerry, too, was thrown,
but was only bruised; nobody could tell how he escaped;
he always said 'twas a miracle. When poor Captain was got up he was found
to be very much cut and knocked about. Jerry led him home gently,
and a sad sight it was to see the blood soaking into his white coat
and dropping from his side and shoulder. The drayman was proved to be
very drunk, and was fined, and the brewer had to pay damages to our master;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
when a beast puts his muzzle to the ground and deliberately howls.
This was his looning -- perhaps the wildest sound that is ever heard
here, making the woods ring far and wide. I concluded that he
laughed in derision of my efforts, confident of his own resources.
Though the sky was by this time overcast, the pond was so smooth
that I could see where he broke the surface when I did not hear him.
His white breast, the stillness of the air, and the smoothness of
the water were all against him. At length having come up fifty rods
off, he uttered one of those prolonged howls, as if calling on the
god of loons to aid him, and immediately there came a wind from the
east and rippled the surface, and filled the whole air with misty
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
and amused me. I began to find a kind of transcendental good sense
in her remarks, and her unfathomable good nature moved me to
admiration and envy. The liking was returned; she enjoyed my
presence half-unconsciously, as a man in deep meditation may enjoy
the babbling of a brook. I can scarce say she brightened when I
came, for satisfaction was written on her face eternally, as on
some foolish statue's; but I was made conscious of her pleasure by
some more intimate communication than the sight. And one day, as I
set within reach of her on the marble step, she suddenly shot forth
one of her hands and patted mine. The thing was done, and she was
back in her accustomed attitude, before my mind had received
|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 Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
I understand that the skipper, too, started raving like the rest of them.
The man had been deprived of sleep for more than a week, and to have
this sprung on him at the height of a furious gale nearly drove him
out of his mind. I wonder they didn't fling me overboard after
getting the carcass of their precious shipmate out of my fingers.
They had rather a job to separate us, I've been told. A sufficiently
fierce story to make an old judge and a respectable jury sit up a bit.
The first thing I heard when I came to myself was the maddening
howling of that endless gale, and on that the voice of the old man.
He was hanging on to my bunk, staring into my face out of his sou'wester.
"`Mr. Leggatt, you have killed a man. You can act no longer
The Secret Sharer