|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Beauty and The Beast by Bayard Taylor:
declining, in the most delicate and tender way, an offer of
marriage made to the sister of the writer, of whose signature only
"Amelie de" remained, the family name having been torn off. A few
memoranda of expenses, one of which was curious: "Dinner with
Jean, 58 rubles;" and immediately after it: "Doctor, 10 rubles."
There were, moreover, a leaf torn out of a journal, and half of a
note which had been torn down the middle, both implicating "Jean"
in some way with the fortunes of the dead man.
The papers belonging to the American phase, so far as they were to
be identified by dates, or by some internal evidence, were fewer,
but even more enigmatical in character. The principal one was a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
by the middle of the afternoon had come up to within a mile of a
low, sandy shore, quivering with heat, and had tied up to the kelp
in Magdalena Bay.
Charlie now took over entire charge of operations. For two days
previous the Chinese hands had been getting out the deck-tubs,
tackles, gaffs, spades, and the other shark-fishing gear that had
been stowed forward. The sails were lowered and gasketed, the
decks cleared of all impedimenta, hogsheads and huge vats stood
ready in the waist, and the lazy indolence of the previous week
was replaced by an extraordinary activity.
The day after their arrival in the bay was occupied by all hands
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:
unintelligibly hailed me, and I replied with inarticulate but
cheerful sounds, and hurried forward to get into my gaiters.
The pair, who seemed to be father and son, came slowly up to the
plateau, and stood close beside me for some time in silence. The
bed was open, and I saw with regret my revolver lying patently
disclosed on the blue wool. At last, after they had looked me all
over, and the silence had grown laughably embarrassing, the man
demanded in what seemed unfriendly tones:
'You have slept here?'
'Yes,' said I. 'As you see.'
'Why?' he asked.
|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 Prufrock/Other Observations by T. S. Eliot:
Here is the number on the door.
You have the key,
The little lamp spreads a ring on the stair,
The bed is open; the tooth-brush hangs on the wall
Put your shoes at the door, sleep, prepare for life."
The last twist of the knife.
Morning at the Window
They are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,