|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
moonlight walk is, I think, the last incident recorded in this
narrative where that gentleman cuts any conspicuous figure: the
fact is, since that event, a change had come over the spirit of
our intercourse. He, indeed, ignorant that the still hour, a
cloudless moon, and an open lattice, had revealed to me the
secret of his selfish love and false friendship, would have
continued smooth and complaisant as ever; but I grew spiny as a
porcupine, and inflexible as a blackthorn cudgel; I never had a
smile for his raillery, never a moment for his society; his
invitations to take coffee with him in his parlour were
invariably rejected, and very stiffly and sternly rejected too;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy:
"Percy!--Armand is in deadly danger. A letter of his. . .
rash, impetuous, as were all his actions, and written to Sir Andrew
Ffoulkes, has fallen into the hands of a fanatic. Armand is
hopelessly compromised. . .to-morrow, perhaps he will be arrested. . .
after that the guillotine. . .unless. . .oh! it is horrible!". . .
she said, with a sudden wail of anguish, as all the events of the past
night came rushing back to her mind, "horrible!. . .and you do not
understand. . .you cannot. . .and I have no one to whom I can
turn. . .for help. . .or even for sympathy. . ."
Tears now refused to be held back. All her trouble, her
struggles, the awful uncertainty of Armand's fate overwhelmed her.
The Scarlet Pimpernel
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
literally depended on his behaviour from day to day whether he got
ten thousand a year, or thirty thousand a year, or nothing whatever-
-would you not think it strange if the youth never troubled himself
to satisfy the conditions in any way, nor even to know what was
required of him, but lived exactly as he chose, and never inquired
whether his chances of the estate were increasing or passing away?
Well, you know that this is actually and literally so with the
greater number of the educated persons now living in Christian
countries. Nearly every man and woman in any company such as this,
outwardly professes to believe--and a large number unquestionably
think they believe--much more than this; not only that a quite
|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:
all right, Fleming? Do yeh feel all right? There
ain't nothin' th' matter with yeh, Henry, is there?"
"No," said the youth with difficulty. His
throat seemed full of knobs and burs.
These incidents made the youth ponder. It
was revealed to him that he had been a barbarian,
a beast. He had fought like a pagan who de-
fends his religion. Regarding it, he saw that it
was fine, wild, and, in some ways, easy. He had
been a tremendous figure, no doubt. By this
struggle he had overcome obstacles which he
The Red Badge of Courage