|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson:
But brake his very heart in pining for it,
And past away.'
To whom the mother said,
'True love, sweet son, had risked himself and climbed,
And handed down the golden treasure to him.'
And Gareth answered her with kindling eyes,
'Gold?' said I gold?--ay then, why he, or she,
Or whosoe'er it was, or half the world
Had ventured--HAD the thing I spake of been
Mere gold--but this was all of that true steel,
Whereof they forged the brand Excalibur,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
"It was a lie."
"Good--the reform is beginning; there is hope for you yet;
you will not tell a lie to save your dearest friend's soul, but you
will spew out one without a scruple to save yourself the discomfort
of telling an unpleasant truth."
He rose. Hester, speaking for both, said; coldly:
"We have lied; we perceive it; it will occur no more. To lie is
a sin. We shall never tell another one of any kind whatsoever,
even lies of courtesy or benevolence, to save any one a pang
or a sorrow decreed for him by God."
"Ah, how soon you will fall! In fact, you have fallen already;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Some persons, he remembered to have read, are endowed with a
singular quickness of perception for the neighbourhood of precious
metals; through walls and even at considerable distances they are
said to divine the presence of gold. Might it not be the same with
diamonds? he wondered; and if so, who was more likely to enjoy this
transcendental sense than the person who gloried in the appellation
of the Diamond Hunter? From such a man he recognised that he had
everything to fear, and longed eagerly for the arrival of the day.
In the meantime he neglected no precaution, concealed his diamond
in the most internal pocket of a system of great-coats, and
devoutly recommended himself to the care of Providence.
|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 Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells:
I remember how my head swayed with the seas, and the horizon
with the sail above it danced up and down; but I also remember
as distinctly that I had a persuasion that I was dead, and that I
thought what a jest it was that they should come too late by such
a little to catch me in my body.
For an endless period, as it seemed to me, I lay with my head
on the thwart watching the schooner (she was a little ship,
schooner-rigged fore and aft) come up out of the sea.
She kept tacking to and fro in a widening compass, for she was
sailing dead into the wind. It never entered my head to attempt
to attract attention, and I do not remember anything distinctly after
The Island of Doctor Moreau