|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:
civil practice), when my way led me through Baker Street. As I
passed the well-remembered door, which must always be associated
in my mind with my wooing, and with the dark incidents of the
Study in Scarlet, I was seized with a keen desire to see Holmes
again, and to know how he was employing his extraordinary powers.
His rooms were brilliantly lit, and, even as I looked up, I saw
his tall, spare figure pass twice in a dark silhouette against
the blind. He was pacing the room swiftly, eagerly, with his head
sunk upon his chest and his hands clasped behind him. To me, who
knew his every mood and habit, his attitude and manner told their
own story. He was at work again. He had risen out of his
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot:
to the buyer upon payment of the sight draft.
Notes 196 and 197 were transposed in this and the Hogarth Press edition,
but have been corrected here.
210. 'Carriage and insurance free'] 'cost, insurance and freight'--Editor.
218. Tiresias, although a mere spectator and not indeed a 'character',
is yet the most important personage in the poem, uniting all the rest.
Just as the one-eyed merchant, seller of currants, melts into
the Phoenician Sailor, and the latter is not wholly distinct
from Ferdinand Prince of Naples, so all the women are one woman,
and the two sexes meet in Tiresias. What Tiresias sees, in fact,
is the substance of the poem. The whole passage from Ovid is
The Waste Land
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The United States Bill of Rights:
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district
wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have
been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him;
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor,
and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
|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 Before Adam by Jack London:
called because of his inflamed eyes, the lids being
always red, and, by the peculiar effect they produced,
seeming to advertise the terrible savagery of him. The
color of his soul was red.
He was a monster in all ways. Physically he was a
giant. He must have weighed one hundred and seventy
pounds. He was the largest one of our kind I ever saw.
Nor did I ever see one of the Fire People so large as
he, nor one of the Tree People. Sometimes, when in the
newspapers I happen upon descriptions of our modern
bruisers and prizefighters, I wonder what chance the