|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:
that streamed through the open doorway the dust danced and was golden.
The heavy scent of the roses seemed to brood over everything.
After about a quarter of an hour Hallward stopped painting,
looked for a long time at Dorian Gray, and then for a long
time at the picture, biting the end of one of his huge brushes
and frowning. "It is quite finished," he cried at last,
and stooping down he wrote his name in long vermilion letters on
the left-hand corner of the canvas.
Lord Henry came over and examined the picture. It was certainly
a wonderful work of art, and a wonderful likeness as well.
"My dear fellow, I congratulate you most warmly," he said.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:
It was a long and tedious business, for the people
made a stubborn and faithful defense. But at last
their supplies ran out and starvation began its work;
more fell by hunger than by the missiles of the enemy.
They by and by surrendered, and begged for charitable terms.
But the beleaguering prince was so incensed against them
for their long resistance that he said he would spare none
but the women and children--all men should be put to the
sword without exception, and all their goods destroyed.
Then the women came and fell on their knees and begged for
the lives of their husbands.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf:
or taste, one haunted the dome-shaped hive, ranged the wastes of the air
over the countries of the world alone, and then haunted the hives with
their murmurs and their stirrings; the hives, which were people.
Mrs Ramsay rose. Lily rose. Mrs Ramsay went. For days there hung about
her, as after a dream some subtle change is felt in the person one has
dreamt of, more vividly than anything she said, the sound of murmuring
and, as she sat in the wicker arm-chair in the drawing-room window she
wore, to Lily's eyes, an august shape; the shape of a dome.
This ray passed level with Mr Bankes's ray straight to Mrs Ramsay sitting
reading there with James at her knee. But now while she still looked,
Mr Bankes had done. He had put on his spectacles. He had stepped back.
To the Lighthouse
|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 Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
though I was fairly off. There had been a good deal of road-mending
going on, and even where the stones were not freshly laid down
there were a great many loose ones about. My driver was laughing and joking
with the lady and the children, and talking about the country
to the right and the left; but he never thought it worth while
to keep an eye on his horse or to drive on the smoothest parts of the road;
and so it easily happened that I got a stone in one of my fore feet.
Now, if Mr. Gordon or John, or in fact any good driver, had been there,
he would have seen that something was wrong before I had gone three paces.
Or even if it had been dark a practiced hand would have felt by the rein
that there was something wrong in the step, and they would have got down