|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:
more; when I get my property five thousand dollars more. It is
little enough. A marquis must not be mean."
Alden swore softly in English, under his breath. A rustic comedy, a
joke on human nature, always pleased him; but beneath his cynical
varnish he had a very honest heart, and he hated cruelty and
injustice. He knew what a little money meant in the backwoods; what
hard and bitter toil it cost to rake it together; what sacrifices
and privations must follow its loss. If the smooth prospector of
unclaimed estates in France had arrived at the camp on the Grande
Decharge at that moment, Alden would have introduced him to the most
unhappy hour of his life.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen:
career,'beyond them all as beyond a veil. I do not know whether
any human being has ever lifted that veil; but I do know,
Clarke, that you and I shall see it lifted this very night from
before another's eyes. You may think this all strange nonsense;
it may be strange, but it is true, and the ancients knew what
lifting the veil means. They called it seeing the god Pan."
Clarke shivered; the white mist gathering over the
river was chilly.
"It is wonderful indeed," he said. "We are standing on
the brink of a strange world, Raymond, if what you say
is true. I suppose the knife is absolutely necessary?"
The Great God Pan
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wrecker by Stevenson & Osbourne:
signal code, and an Admiralty book of a sort of orange hue,
called _Islands of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Vol. III._, which
appeared from its imprint to be the latest authority, and showed
marks of frequent consultation in the passages about the French
Frigate Shoals, the Harman, Cure, Pearl, and Hermes reefs,
Lisiansky Island, Ocean Island, and the place where we then
lay--Brooks or Midway. A volume of Macaulay's _Essays_
and a shilling Shakespeare led the van of the belles lettres; the
rest were novels: several Miss Braddons--of course, _Aurora
Floyd_, which has penetrated to every isle of the Pacific, a good
many cheap detective books, _Rob Roy_, Auerbach's _Auf der
|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 An Unsocial Socialist by George Bernard Shaw:
capitalists living on gratuitous imports and served by a
disaffected retinue. One day the gratuitous imports will stop in
consequence of the occurrence abroad of revolution and
repudiation, fall in the rate of interest, purchase of industries
by governments for lump sums, not reinvestable, or what not. Our
capitalist community is then thrown on the remains of the last
dividend, which it consumes long before it can rehabilitate its
extinct machinery of production in order to support itself with
its own hands. Horses, dogs, cats, rats, blackberries, mushrooms,
and cannibalism only postpone--"
"Ha! ha! ha!" shouted Sir Charles. "On my honor, I thought you