|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
pleasant madness, which so soon grow ghostly and forlorn. Even
when this dismal and inevitable change had taken place, the young
man might still have continued to quaff the cup of enchantments,
though its vapor did but shroud life in gloom and fill the gloom
with spectres that mocked at him. There was a certain irksomeness
of spirit, which, being real, and the deepest sensation of which
the artist was now conscious, was more intolerable than any
fantastic miseries and horrors that the abuse of wine could
summon up. In the latter case he could remember, even out of the
midst of his trouble, that all was but a delusion; in the former,
the heavy anguish was his actual life.
Mosses From An Old Manse
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling:
the monument more enduring than brass--my one book--rude and
imperfect in parts, but oh, how rare in others! I wonder if you
will understand it. It is a gift more honorable than . . . Bah!
where is my brain rambling to? You will mutilate it horribly. You
will knock out the gems you call 'Latin quotations,' you Philistine,
and you will butcher the style to carve into your own jerky jargon;
but you cannot destroy the whole of it. I bequeath it to you.
Ethel . . . My brain again! . . Mrs. McIntosh, bear witness that I
give the sahib all these papers. They would be of no use to you,
Heart of my heart; and I lay it upon you," he turned to me here,
"that you do not let my book die in its present form. It is yours
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:
1794 the Lanty family discovered it there, and asked Vien to copy it.
The portrait which showed you Zambinella at twenty, a moment after you
had seen him as a centenarian, afterward figured in Girodet's
/Endymion/; you yourself recognized the type in /Adonis/."
"But this Zambinella, male or female--"
"Must be, madame, Marianina's maternal great uncle. You can conceive
now Madame de Lanty's interest in concealing the source of a fortune
"Enough!" said she, with an imperious gesture.
We remained for a moment in the most profound silence.
"Well?" I said at last.
|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 Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:
nosed perhaps, and had clumsy feet. Aye, it was all for the best,
With this comforting reflection, he put on his coat, took a
farewell glance at the glass, and summoned his man, who promptly
attended, followed by a chair and its two bearers.
'Foh!' said Mr Chester. 'The very atmosphere that centaur has
breathed, seems tainted with the cart and ladder. Here, Peak.
Bring some scent and sprinkle the floor; and take away the chair he
sat upon, and air it; and dash a little of that mixture upon me. I
The man obeyed; and the room and its master being both purified,