|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells:
A startled deerhound yelped and snarled. There was blood, I saw,
in the sink,--brown, and some scarlet--and I smelt the peculiar
smell of carbolic acid. Then through an open doorway beyond,
in the dim light of the shadow, I saw something bound painfully
upon a framework, scarred, red, and bandaged; and then blotting
this out appeared the face of old Moreau, white and terrible.
In a moment he had gripped me by the shoulder with a hand that was
smeared red, had twisted me off my feet, and flung me headlong back
into my own room. He lifted me as though I was a little child.
I fell at full length upon the floor, and the door slammed
and shut out the passionate intensity of his face.
The Island of Doctor Moreau
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Episode Under the Terror by Honore de Balzac:
suddenly broke off and went on, "Sisters, if anything should happen to
you, believe me, I shall have no share in it. I have come to ask a
favor of you."
Still the women were silent.
"If I am annoying you--if--if I am intruding, speak freely, and I will
go; but you must understand that I am entirely at your service; that
if I can do anything for you, you need not fear to make use of me. I,
and I only, perhaps, am above the law, since there is no King now."
There was such a ring of sincerity in the words that Sister Agathe
hastily pointed to a chair as if to bid their guest be seated. Sister
Agathe came of the house of Langeais; her manner seemed to indicate
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Edingburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson:
bleak ugliness of easterly weather; the wind wearies, the
sickly sky depresses them; and they turn back from their
walk to avoid the aspect of the unrefulgent sun going
down among perturbed and pallid mists. The days are so
short that a man does much of his business, and certainly
all his pleasure, by the haggard glare of gas lamps. The
roads are as heavy as a fallow. People go by, so
drenched and draggle-tailed that I have often wondered
how they found the heart to undress. And meantime the
wind whistles through the town as if it were an open
meadow; and if you lie awake all night, you hear it
|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 Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:
In the meantime Zoe was walking softly about the room. She spoke of
yesterday's great hit. Madame had shown such talent; she sang so
well! Ah! Madame need not fret at all now!
Nana, her elbow dug into her pillow, only tossed her head in reply.
Her nightdress had slipped down on her shoulders, and her hair,
unfastened and entangled, flowed over them in masses.
"Without doubt," she murmured, becoming thoughtful; "but what's to
be done to gain time? I'm going to have all sorts of bothers today.
Now let's see, has the porter come upstairs yet this morning?"
Then both the women talked together seriously. Nana owed three