|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Distinguished Provincial at Paris by Honore de Balzac:
"Isn't it nice?" she said coaxingly. "You would be more comfortable
here, wouldn't you, than in a garret?--You won't let her do anything
rash?" she continued, setting a costly stand before him, covered with
dishes abstracted from her mistress' dinner-table, lest the cook
should suspect that her mistress had a lover in the house.
Lucien made a good dinner. Berenice waiting on him, the dishes were of
wrought silver, the painted porcelain plates had cost a louis d'or
apiece. The luxury was producing exactly the same effect upon him that
the sight of a girl walking the pavement, with her bare flaunting
throat and neat ankles, produces upon a schoolboy.
"How lucky Camusot is!" cried he.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tales and Fantasies by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Alas! poor Richard, what should this portend?
The servant, as in duty bound, dismounted and took the
phaeton into his keeping; yet Dick thought he touched his hat
to him with something of a grin. Esther, passive as ever,
was helped out and crossed the garden with a slow and
mechanical gait; and Dick, following close behind her, heard
from within the cottage his father's voice upraised in an
anathema, and the shriller tones of the Admiral responding in
the key of war.
CHAPTER VIII - BATTLE ROYAL
SQUIRE NASEBY, on sitting down to lunch, had inquired for
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:
sentinels fired again, independently and ineffectually.
The hunted man saw all this over his shoulder; he was now
swimming vigorously with the current. His brain was as
energetic as his arms and legs; he thought with the rapidity
"The officer," he reasoned, "will not make that martinet's
error a second time. It is as easy to dodge a volley as a
single shot. He has probably already given the command to
fire at will. God help me, I cannot dodge them all!"
An appalling splash within two yards of him was followed by a
loud, rushing sound, DIMINUENDO, which seemed to travel back
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
|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 Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
that he had seen aught to surprise him, though surprised he was
for the face in the aperture was that of the girl he had but just
left hidden beneath the hides in another chamber. A white and
shapely arm now pushed past the face into the room, and in the
hand, tightly clutched, was the curved blade, smeared with blood,
that Bradley had dropped beneath the hides at the moment he had
been discovered and drawn from his concealment.
"Listen, then," said Bradley in a low voice to the Wieroo.
"You shall know the secret of cos-ata-lu as well as do
I; but none other may hear it. Lean close--I will whisper
it into your ear."
Out of Time's Abyss