|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:
"Oh, it's really so little," she said. "I told you it wasn't the
worst case. I stayed on in that house from which I nearly ran away
in my nightgown. I stayed on because I didn't know what to do
next. He vanished as he had come on the track of something else, I
suppose. You know he really has got to get his living some way or
other. But don't think I was deserted. On the contrary. People
were coming and going, all sorts of people that Henry Allegre used
to know - or had refused to know. I had a sensation of plotting
and intriguing around me, all the time. I was feeling morally
bruised, sore all over, when, one day, Don Rafael de Villarel sent
in his card. A grandee. I didn't know him, but, as you are aware,
The Arrow of Gold
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
herself must behold things in themselves: and then we shall attain the
wisdom which we desire, and of which we say that we are lovers, not while
we live, but after death; for if while in company with the body, the soul
cannot have pure knowledge, one of two things follows--either knowledge is
not to be attained at all, or, if at all, after death. For then, and not
till then, the soul will be parted from the body and exist in herself
alone. In this present life, I reckon that we make the nearest approach to
knowledge when we have the least possible intercourse or communion with the
body, and are not surfeited with the bodily nature, but keep ourselves pure
until the hour when God himself is pleased to release us. And thus having
got rid of the foolishness of the body we shall be pure and hold converse
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
had received some very good news.
"Something has happened here!" said Newman, without sitting down.
"You find me in a very fine moment," she repeated. "Two gentlemen--
one of them is M. de Bellegarde, the pleasure of whose acquaintance
I owe to you--have just had words about your humble servant.
Very big words too. They can't come off without crossing swords.
A duel--that will give me a push!" cried Mademoiselle Noemie clapping
her little hands. "C'est ca qui pose une femme!"
"You don't mean to say that Bellegarde is going to fight about YOU!"
exclaimed Newman, disgustedly.
"Nothing else!" and she looked at him with a hard little smile.
|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 Time Machine by H. G. Wells:
beneath another pile of ruined masonry.
`My impression of it is, of course, imperfect; but I know it
was a dull white, and had strange large greyish-red eyes; also
that there was flaxen hair on its head and down its back. But,
as I say, it went too fast for me to see distinctly. I cannot
even say whether it ran on all-fours, or only with its forearms
held very low. After an instant's pause I followed it into the
second heap of ruins. I could not find it at first; but, after a
time in the profound obscurity, I came upon one of those round
well-like openings of which I have told you, half closed by a
fallen pillar. A sudden thought came to me. Could this Thing
The Time Machine