|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Some Reminiscences by Joseph Conrad:
deck passengers (mostly wandering traders of good repute) as they
sat all over the ship--each man fenced round with bundles and
boxes--on mats, on pillows, on quilts, on billets of wood,
conversing of Island affairs. Upon my word, I heard the mutter
of Almayer's name faintly at midnight, while making my way aft
from the bridge to look at the patent taffrail-log tinkling its
quarter-miles in the great silence of the sea. I don't mean to
say that our passengers dreamed aloud of Almayer, but it is
indubitable that two of them at least, who could not sleep
apparently and were trying to charm away the trouble of insomnia
by a little whispered talk at that ghostly hour, were referring
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Cather:
and some rusty pens. The wall was ornamented with photographs
and colored prints of racing favorites.
"The studio is h'only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays,"
explained the man--he referred to himself as "Jymes"--"but of
course we make exceptions in the case of pynters. Lydy Elling
Treffinger 'erself is on the Continent, but Sir 'Ugh's orders was
that pynters was to 'ave the run of the place." He selected a key
from his pocket and threw open the door into the studio which, like
the lodge, was built against the wall of the garden.
MacMaster entered a long, narrow room, built of smoothed
planks, painted a light green; cold and damp even on that fine
The Troll Garden and Selected Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne:
"You are right, sir," replied Michel Ardan; "the discussion has
become irregular. We will return to the moon."
"Sir," said the unknown, "you pretend that our satellite is inhabited.
Very good, but if Selenites do exist, that race of beings assuredly
must live without breathing, for-- I warn you for your own sake--
there is not the smallest particle of air on the surface of the moon."
At this remark Ardan pushed up his shock of red hair; he saw
that he was on the point of being involved in a struggle with
this person upon the very gist of the whole question. He looked
sternly at him in his turn and said:
"Oh! so there is no air in the moon? And pray, if you are so
From the Earth to the Moon
|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 United States Bill of Rights:
in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service
in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for
the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;
nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,
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