|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:
at one end of the piazza, gossiping over former times, and
drawing out long stories about the war.
This neighborhood, at the time of which I am speaking, was one of
those highly favored places which abound with chronicle and great
men. The British and American line had run near it during the
war; it had, therefore], been the scene of marauding and infested
with refugees, cow-boys, and all kinds of border chivalry. Just
sufficient time had elapsed to enable each story-teller to dress
up his tale with a little becoming fiction, and, in the
indistinctness of his recollection, to make himself the hero of
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
at his life or his social position, his future prospects or his
mental attainments--I know not which; perhaps after all it might
only be a bilious caprice.
No man likes to acknowledge that he has made a mistake in the
choice of his profession, and every man, worthy of the name, will
row long against wind and tide before he allows himself to cry
out, "I am baffled!" and submits to be floated passively back to
land. From the first week of my residence in X---- I felt my
occupation irksome. The thing itself--the work of copying and
translating business-letters--was a dry and tedious task enough,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster,
The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
Crown'd by the name of Henry the Fourth,
Seiz'd on the realm, depos'd the rightful king,
Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she came,
And him to Pomfret, where, as all you know,
Harmless Richard was murther'd traitorously.
Father, the duke hath told the truth;
Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
|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 Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
with a view to my recapture, Johnson would have shown himself like him
of the "stalwart hand."
The reader may be surprised at the impressions I had in some way conceived
of the social and material condition of the people at the North.
I had no proper idea of the wealth, refinement, enterprise,
and high civilization of this section of the country.
My "Columbian Orator," almost my only book, had done nothing
to enlighten me concerning Northern society. I had been taught
that slavery was the bottom fact of all wealth. With this foundation idea,
I came naturally to the conclusion that poverty must be the general
condition of the people of the free States. In the country from which I came,