|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Underground City by Jules Verne:
Thus there was one kingdom substituted for another in this
slow but irresistible reaction. The vegetable was transformed
into a mineral. Plants which had lived the vegeta-tive
life in all the vigor of first creation became petrified.
Some of the substances enclosed in this vast herbal left their
impression on the other more rapidly mineralized products,
which pressed them as an hydraulic press of incalculable power
would have done.
Thus also shells, zoophytes, star-fish, polypi, spirifores, even fish
and lizards brought by the water, left on the yet soft coal their
exact likeness, "admirably taken off."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason!
What will you do, good graybeard? break a lance,
And run a tilt at death within a chair?
Foul fiend of France, and hag of all despite,
Encompass'd with thy lustful paramours!
Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age,
And twit with cowardice a man half dead?
Damsel, I 'll have a bout with you again,
Or else let Talbot perish with this shame.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair:
silenced, and fraud and falsehood would slink back into their
dens, and the truth would stand forth alone! For I speak with
the voice of the millions who are voiceless! Of them that are
oppressed and have no comforter! Of the disinherited of life,
for whom there is no respite and no deliverance, to whom the
world is a prison, a dungeon of torture, a tomb! With the voice
of the little child who toils tonight in a Southern cotton mill,
staggering with exhaustion, numb with agony, and knowing no hope
but the grave! Of the mother who sews by candlelight in her
tenement garret, weary and weeping, smitten with the mortal
hunger of her babes! Of the man who lies upon a bed of rags,
|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 Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane:
early age. He became a young man of leather. He lived some red
years without laboring. During that time his sneer became chronic.
He studied human nature in the gutter, and found it no worse than
he thought he had reason to believe it. He never conceived a
respect for the world, because he had begun with no idols that it
He clad his soul in armor by means of happening hilariously in
at a mission church where a man composed his sermons of "yous."
While they got warm at the stove, he told his hearers just where he
calculated they stood with the Lord. Many of the sinners were
impatient over the pictured depths of their degradation. They were
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets