|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
without pause or interruption. Then she recovered somewhat, and
sobbed gently in an abundant fall of tears. She tried to talk to
her saviour, to the man who was the messenger of life.
"Oh, Tom! How could I fear to die after he was taken away from me
so cruelly! How could I! How could I be such a coward!"
She lamented aloud her love of life, that life without grace or
charm, and almost without decency, but of an exalted faithfulness
of purpose, even unto murder. And, as often happens in the lament
of poor humanity, rich in suffering but indigent in words, the
truth - the very cry of truth - was found in a worn and artificial
shape picked up somewhere among the phrases of sham sentiment.
The Secret Agent
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
"Yes, that's the best place for such inflammable nonsense.
I'd better burn the house down, I suppose, than let other
people blow themselves up with my gunpowder," she thought as
she watched the Demon of the Jura whisk away, a little black
cinder with fiery eyes.
But when nothing remained of all her three month's work
except a heap of ashes and the money in her lap, Jo looked
sober, as she sat on the floor, wondering what she ought to
do about her wages.
"I think I haven't done much harm yet, and may keep this
to pay for my time," she said, after a long meditation, adding
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad:
company did not begin to come ashore till much
later in the day. . . ."
The doctor gathered the reins, clicked his
tongue; we trotted down the hill. Then turning,
almost directly, a sharp corner into the High
Street, we rattled over the stones and were home.
Late in the evening Kennedy, breaking a spell
of moodiness that had come over him, returned to
the story. Smoking his pipe, he paced the long
room from end to end. A reading-lamp concen-
trated all its light upon the papers on his desk;
|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 Dracula by Bram Stoker:
His mouth was set as steel.
After a while her sobs became less frequent and more faint,
and then he said to me, speaking with a studied calmness
which I felt tried his nervous power to the utmost.
"And now, Dr. Seward, tell me all about it. Too well I know the broad fact.
Tell me all that has been."
I told him exactly what had happened and he listened with seeming
impassiveness, but his nostrils twitched and his eyes blazed as I told
how the ruthless hands of the Count had held his wife in that terrible
and horrid position, with her mouth to the open wound in his breast.
It interested me, even at that moment, to see that whilst the face