|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
skewer was fastened a small clam-shell. This was used to scoop
up the smaller and softer portions of the repast into which all
four of the occupants of each table dipped impartially. The Wieroo
leaned far over their food, scooping it up rapidly and with much
noise, and so great was their haste that a part of each mouthful
always fell back into the common dish; and when they choked, by
reason of the rapidity with which they attempted to bolt their
food, they often lost it all. Bradley was glad that he had a
pedestal all to himself.
Soon the keeper of the place returned with a wooden bowl filled
with food. This he dumped into Bradley's "trough," as he already
Out of Time's Abyss
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Georgics by Virgil:
O Father of the wine-press; all things here
Teem with the bounties of thy hand; for thee
With viny autumn laden blooms the field,
And foams the vintage high with brimming vats;
Hither, O Father of the wine-press, come,
And stripped of buskin stain thy bared limbs
In the new must with me.
First, nature's law
For generating trees is manifold;
For some of their own force spontaneous spring,
No hand of man compelling, and possess
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Laches by Plato:
NICIAS: And do you suppose that the physician or any other artist knows
this, or any one indeed, except he who is skilled in the grounds of fear
and hope? And him I call the courageous.
SOCRATES: Do you understand his meaning, Laches?
LACHES: Yes; I suppose that, in his way of speaking, the soothsayers are
courageous. For who but one of them can know to whom to die or to live is
better? And yet Nicias, would you allow that you are yourself a
soothsayer, or are you neither a soothsayer nor courageous?
NICIAS: What! do you mean to say that the soothsayer ought to know the
grounds of hope or fear?
LACHES: Indeed I do: who but he?
|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 Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
abject fear that he commanded that we land at the
Bishop of Durham's palace opposite which we then
were. De Montfort, who was residing there, came to
meet Henry, with all due respect, observing, 'What do
you fear, now, Sire, the tempest has passed?' And what
thinkest thou old 'waxen heart' replied? Why, still trem-
bling, he said, 'I do indeed fear thunder and lightning
much, but, by the hand of God, I tremble before you
more than for all the thunder in Heaven!'"
"I surmise," interjected the grim, old man, "that De
Montfort has in some manner gained an ascendancy
The Outlaw of Torn