|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:
dead man continued to sit with the bowl of broth on his knees and
the piece of bread in his hand.
This is why - because in Corsica your dead will not leave you alone
- Dominic's brother had to go into the MAQUIS, into the bush on the
wild mountain-side, to dodge the gendarmes for the insignificant
remainder of his life, and Dominic had charge of his nephew with a
mission to make a man of him.
No more unpromising undertaking could be imagined. The very
material for the task seemed wanting. The Cervonis, if not
handsome men, were good sturdy flesh and blood. But this
extraordinarily lean and livid youth seemed to have no more blood
The Mirror of the Sea
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pellucidar by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
be for the last time. For the life of me I couldn't see
how both of us could escape.
I asked her if she could make the descent alone--
if she were not afraid. She smiled up at me bravely
and shrugged her shoulders. She afraid! So beautiful
is she that I am always having difficulty in remembering
that she is a primitive, half-savage cave girl of the stone
age, and often find myself mentally limiting her ca-
pacities to those of the effete and overcivilized beauties
of the outer crust.
"And you?" she asked as she swung over the edge of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
not arranged so skilfully, nor nearly to so much advantage, as it
might have been. It seemed as if the whole fortune or failure of
her shop might depend on the display of a different set of articles,
or substituting a fairer apple for one which appeared to be specked.
So she made the change, and straightway fancied that everything was
spoiled by it; not recognizing that it was the nervousness of the
juncture, and her own native squeamishness as an old maid, that
wrought all the seeming mischief.
Anon, there was an encounter, just at the door-step, betwixt two
laboring men, as their rough voices denoted them to be. After
some slight talk about their own affairs, one of them chanced to
House of Seven Gables
|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 The Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:
how little, after all, do we think of the results of our actions!
There are few men who would deliberately instill into a child a
love of drink, or wilfully deprive him of his reason; and yet a man
with drunkenness or madness in his blood thinks nothing of bringing
children into the world tainted as deeply with the curse as if he
had inoculated them with it directly. There is no responsibility
so completely ignored as this one of marriage and fatherhood, and
yet how heavy it is and far-reaching."
"Well," I said, smiling, "let us console ourselves with the thought
that we are not all lunatics and drunkards."
"No," he answered; "but there are other evils besides these, moral