|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:
humour; showing in every page how the love for Natural History is
in him only one expression of a love for all things beautiful, and
pure, and right. If any readers of these pages fancy that I over-
praise the book, let them buy it, and judge for themselves. They
will thus help the good man toward pursuing his studies with larger
and better appliances, and will be (as I expect) surprised to find
how much there is to be seen and done, even by a working-man,
within a day's walk of smoky Babylon itself; and how easily a man
might, if he would, wash his soul clean for a while from all the
turmoil and intrigue, the vanity and vexation of spirit of that
"too-populous wilderness," by going out to be alone a while with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
course of action in the new affair he was now undertaking. The part of
doctor, which for a moment he thought of assuming, frightened him, and
he gave himself out, as we have seen, to Madame Perrache as the
business agent of his accomplice. Once alone, he began to see that his
original idea complicated with a doctor, a nurse, and a notary,
presented the most serious difficulties. A regular will drawn in favor
of Madame Cardinal was not a thing to be improvised in a moment. It
would take some time to acclimatize the idea in the surly and
suspicious mind of the old pauper, and death, which was close at hand,
might play them a trick at any moment, and balk the most careful
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
The progress of the party was but slow for the first few days.
Some of the men were indisposed; Mr. Crooks, especially, was so
unwell that he could not keep on his horse. A rude kind of litter
was, therefore, prepared for him, consisting of two long poles,
fixed, one on each side of two horses, with a matting between
them, on which he reclined at full length, and was protected from
the sun by a canopy of boughs.
On the evening of the 23d (July) they encamped on the banks of
what they term Big River; and here we cannot but pause to lament
the stupid, commonplace, and often ribald names entailed upon the
rivers and other features of the great West, by traders and
|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 Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
eyeing the pincers.
"This magic tool will pull you up, roots and all, and land you on
this raft," declared the Wizard.
"Don't do it!" pleaded the sailor, with a shudder. "It would hurt
"It would be just like pulling teeth to pull us up by the roots,"
"Grow small!" said the Wizard to the pincers, and at once they
became small and he threw them into the black bag.
"I guess, friends, it's all up with us, this time," remarked Cap'n Bill,
with a dismal sigh.
The Magic of Oz