|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Turn of the Screw by Henry James:
seemed magnificent had there been anyone to admire it,
I laid down my book, rose to my feet, and, taking a candle,
went straight out of the room and, from the passage,
on which my light made little impression, noiselessly closed
and locked the door.
I can say now neither what determined nor what guided me, but I went
straight along the lobby, holding my candle high, till I came within sight
of the tall window that presided over the great turn of the staircase.
At this point I precipitately found myself aware of three things.
They were practically simultaneous, yet they had flashes of succession.
My candle, under a bold flourish, went out, and I perceived, by the uncovered
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Aeneid by Virgil:
Of mimic thunder, and the glitt'ring blaze
Of pointed lightnings, and their forky rays.
Thro' Elis and the Grecian towns he flew;
Th' audacious wretch four fiery coursers drew:
He wav'd a torch aloft, and, madly vain,
Sought godlike worship from a servile train.
Ambitious fool! with horny hoofs to pass
O'er hollow arches of resounding brass,
To rival thunder in its rapid course,
And imitate inimitable force!
But he, the King of Heav'n, obscure on high,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:
might have had a hearty laugh at him. Nevertheless, this ignorant
young savage, vacant of the glorious gains of the nineteenth
century, children's literature and science made easy, and, worst of
all, of those improved views of English history now current among
our railway essayists, which consist in believing all persons, male
and female, before the year 1688, and nearly all after it, to have
been either hypocrites or fools, had learnt certain things which he
would hardly have been taught just now in any school in England;
for his training had been that of the old Persians, "to speak the
truth and to draw the bow," both of which savage virtues he had
acquired to perfection, as well as the equally savage ones of
|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 Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
spear, clublike, down upon the skull of the priest.
The fellow collapsed, his head crushed.
Again and again the weapon fell as Tarzan made his way
slowly toward the doorway. Werper pressed close
behind, casting backward glances toward the shrieking,
dancing mob menacing their rear. He held the
sacrificial knife ready to strike whoever might come
within its reach; but none came. For a time he
wondered that they should so bravely battle with the
giant ape-man, yet hesitate to rush upon him, who was
relatively so weak. Had they done so he knew that he
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar