|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The White Moll by Frank L. Packard:
hadn't she? It was near the end at last. She had Danglar - alone.
But not in the darkness! He was too tricky! She crossed the garret
to where the candle-stub, stuck in the neck of the gin bottle, stood
on the rickety washstand.
"Come over here and light the candle," she said. "I can't find my
Her hand was in the pocket of her skirt now, her fingers
tight-closed on the stock of her automatic, as he shuffled his way
across the attic to her side. A match spurted into flame; the
candle wick flickered, then steadied, dispersing little by little,
as it grew brighter, the nearer shadows - and there came a startled
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
"I do; I've known them 'bus cads," he growled, contemptuously.
"Yes. Swing on the tail-board by the strap and yell, 'tuppence all
the way.' Through drink. But this Stafford was of another kind.
Hell's full of such Staffords; Cloete would make fun of him, and
then there would be a nasty gleam in the fellow's half-shut eye.
But Cloete was generally kind to him. Cloete was a fellow that
would be kind to a mangy dog. Anyhow, he used to stand drinks to
that object, and now and then gave him half a crown - because the
widow lady kept Mr. Stafford short of pocket-money. They had rows
almost every day down in the basement. . .
It was the fellow being a sailor that put into Cloete's mind the
Within the Tides
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:
below me. This steamboat was exactly like a decked scow. On the deck,
there were two little teakwood houses, with doors and windows.
The boiler was in the fore-end, and the machinery right astern.
yOver the whole there was a light roof, supported on stanchions.
The funnel projected through that roof, and in front of the funnel
a small cabin built of light planks served for a pilot-house.
It contained a couch, two camp-stools, a loaded Martini-Henry
leaning in one corner, a tiny table, and the steering-wheel.
It had a wide door in front and a broad shutter at each side.
All these were always thrown open, of course. I spent my days perched
up there on the extreme fore-end of that roof, before the door.
Heart of Darkness
|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 Purse by Honore de Balzac:
his countenance also hinted at the easy habits of a libertine, at
the light and reckless passions of the Musketeers formerly so
famous in the annals of gallantry. His gestures, his attitude,
and his manner proclaimed that he had no intention of correcting
himself of his royalism, of his religion, or of his love affairs.
A really fantastic figure came in behind this specimen of "Louis
XIV.'s light infantry"--a nickname given by the Bonapartists to
these venerable survivors of the Monarchy. To do it justice it
ought to be made the principal object in the picture, and it is
but an accessory. Imagine a lean, dry man, dressed like the
former, but seeming to be only his reflection, or his shadow, if