|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather:
of the spare room half an hour later,
"will you take Mrs. Alexander the things
she needs? She is going to do everything
herself. Just stay about where you can
hear her and go in if she wants you."
Everything happened as Alexander had
foreseen in that moment of prescience under
the river. With her own hands she washed
him clean of every mark of disaster. All night
he was alone with her in the still house,
his great head lying deep in the pillow.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde:
"Well, I said Pylotechnic," answered the Rocket, in a severe tone
of voice, and the Bengal Light felt so crushed that he began at
once to bully the little squibs, in order to show that he was still
a person of some importance.
"I was saying," continued the Rocket, "I was saying - What was I
"You were talking about yourself," replied the Roman Candle.
"Of course; I knew I was discussing some interesting subject when I
was so rudely interrupted. I hate rudeness and bad manners of
every kind, for I am extremely sensitive. No one in the whole
world is so sensitive as I am, I am quite sure of that."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ursula by Honore de Balzac:
"What is it?" said the post master, who with Massin at his heels now
showed his brutal face.
"The remembrances of his virtues, of his life, of his words--an image
of his celestial soul," she said, her eyes and face glowing as she
raised her hand with a glorious gesture.
"And a key!" cried Massin, creeping up to her like a cat and seizing a
key which fell from the bosom of her dress in her sudden movement.
"Yes," she said, blushing, "that is the key of his study; he sent me
there at the moment he was dying."
The two men glanced at each other with horrid smiles, and then at
|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 A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years, upon
this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes
of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in
their computation. It is true, a child just dropt from its dam,
may be supported by her milk, for a solar year, with little other
nourishment: at most not above the value of two shillings, which
the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her
lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old
that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as, instead
of being a charge upon their parents, or the parish, or wanting
food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the
A Modest Proposal