|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from From London to Land's End by Daniel Defoe:
does not seem equal; for if the cross-stones weighed six or seven
tons, the others, as they appear now, were at least five or six
times as big, and must weigh in proportion; and therefore I must
think their judgment much nearer the case who judge the upright
stones at sixteen tons or thereabouts (supposing them to stand a
great way into the earth, as it is not doubted but they do), and
the coronets or cross-stones at about two tons, which is very large
too, and as much as their bulk can be thought to allow.
Upon the whole, we must take them as our ancestors have done--
namely, for an erection or building so ancient that no history has
handed down to us the original. As we find it, then, uncertain, we
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:
and a ring in the nose, or, better still, teeth filed to a point
and a tattooed breast. Unfortunately, a return to such simple
ornamentation is impossible. We are bound to the chariot of
progress. There is no going back; and, as bad luck would have it,
our civilization, which has done so much for the comfort and
adornment of our bodies and the elevation of our minds, has made
lawful killing frightfully and needlessly expensive.
The whole question of improved armaments has been approached by the
governments of the earth in a spirit of nervous and unreflecting
haste, whereas the right way was lying plainly before them, and had
only to be pursued with calm determination. The learned vigils and
The Mirror of the Sea
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Two Poets by Honore de Balzac:
countenance glowed with high health. Both were impassive, and
gesticulated but little; both appeared to be prudent men, and their
silence and reserve were supposed to hide great intellectual powers.
Close upon the two ecclesiastics followed Mme. de Chandour and her
husband, a couple so extraordinary that those who are unfamiliar with
provincial life might be tempted to think that such persons are purely
imaginary. Amelie de Chandour posed as the rival queen of Angouleme;
her husband, M. de Chandour, known in the circle as Stanislas, was a
ci-devant young man, slim still at five-and-forty, with a countenance
like a sieve. His cravat was always tied so as to present two menacing
points--one spike reached the height of his right ear, the other
|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 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:
that feeling. After all, if you were small, the grimy
beetle crawled on--which was just what you wanted it to do.
Where the pilgrims imagined it crawled to I don't know.
To some place where they expected to get something. I bet!
For me it crawled towards Kurtz--exclusively; but when
the steam-pipes started leaking we crawled very slow.
The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had
stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return.
We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.
It was very quiet there. At night sometimes the roll
of drums behind the curtain of trees would run up the river
Heart of Darkness