|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:
We in France--France as the growing mania for English proprieties has
made it--can form no idea of the serious interest taken in this affair
by Venetian society.
Vendramini alone knew Emilio's secret, which was carefully kept
between two men who had, for private pleasure, combined their coats of
arms with the motto /Non amici, frates/.
The opening night of the opera season is an event at Venice, as in
every capital in Italy. The /Fenice/ was crowded.
The five hours of the night that are spent at the theatre fill so
important a place in Italian life that it is well to give an account
of the customs that have risen from this manner of spending time.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft:
- that it is strong in proportion as it is objectless on earth,
that it predominates in the period of our sinless infancy - are
difficulties the solution of which might afford some probable
insight into our ante-mundane condition, and a peep at least into
the shadowland of pre-existence.
- Charles Lamb: Witches and
When a traveller in north central Massachusetts
takes the wrong fork at the junction of Aylesbury pike just beyond
Dean's Corners he comes upon a lonely and curious country.
The Dunwich Horror
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:
of the world take place also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself,
with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had
passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have fined you
with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might
stain your cheek with shame--"
"Stop!" faltered Dorian Gray, "stop! you bewilder me.
I don't know what to say. There is some answer to you, but I
cannot find it. Don't speak. Let me think. Or, rather, let me
try not to think."
For nearly ten minutes he stood there, motionless, with parted
lips and eyes strangely bright. He was dimly conscious
The Picture of Dorian Gray
|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 Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:
And he grasped the other's hand in silence.
"I will tell you," he resumed. "There is a window, out of which
the messenger descended; the rope should still be in the chamber.
'Tis a hope."
"Hist!" said Matcham.
Both gave ear. There was a sound below the floor; then it paused,
and then began again.
"Some one walketh in the room below," whispered Matcham.
"Nay," returned Dick, "there is no room below; we are above the
chapel. It is my murderer in the secret passage. Well, let him