|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling:
considering wench some market-day. I really don't want
you to put out a bowl for me; but if ever I need a bite, be
sure I'll tell you.'
He stretched himself at length on the dry grass, and the
children stretched out beside him, their bare legs waving
happily in the air. They felt they could not be afraid of
him any more than of their particular friend old Hobden
the hedger. He did not bother them with grown-up
questions, or laugh at the donkey's head, but lay and
smiled to himself in the most sensible way.
'Have you a knife on you?' he said at last.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Treatise on Parents and Children by George Bernard Shaw:
shifts by which the coward intimidates other cowards. And if I had
been a boarder at an English public school instead of a day boy at an
Irish one, I might have had to add to these, deeper shames still.
Schoolmasters of Genius
And now, if I have reduced the ghosts of my schoolmasters to
melancholy acquiescence in all this (which everybody who has been at
an ordinary school will recognize as true), I have still to meet the
much more sincere protests of the handful of people who have a natural
genius for "bringing up" children. I shall be asked with kindly scorn
whether I have heard of Froebel and Pestalozzi, whether I know the
work that is being done by Miss Mason and the Dottoressa Montessori
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:
generally they try to make it real in early youth, and, balked
then, laugh ever afterwards at their own folly. This poor old
Knowles had begun to block out his dream when he was a gaunt,
gray-haired man of sixty. I have known men so build their
heart's blood, and brains into their work, that, when it tumbled
down, their lives went with it. His fell that dull day in
October; but if it hurt him, no man knew it. He sat there,
looking at the broad plateau, whistling softly to himself, a long
time. He had meant that a great many hearts should be made
better and happier there; he had dreamed----God knows what he had
dreamed, of which this reality was the foundation,--of how much
Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
|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 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:
kill me for theirs. In a word, I had nothing about me but a knife,
a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box. This was all my
provisions; and this threw me into such terrible agonies of mind,
that for a while I ran about like a madman. Night coming upon me,
I began with a heavy heart to consider what would be my lot if
there were any ravenous beasts in that country, as at night they
always come abroad for their prey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time was to get
up into a thick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, which grew near
me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and consider the next
day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect of life.