|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker:
speaking a word.
CHAPTER XII--THE CHEST OPENED
Left alone in the turret-room, Edgar Caswall carefully locked the
door and hung a handkerchief over the keyhole. Next, he inspected
the windows, and saw that they were not overlooked from any angle of
the main building. Then he carefully examined the trunk, going over
it with a magnifying glass. He found it intact: the steel bands
were flawless; the whole trunk was compact. After sitting opposite
to it for some time, and the shades of evening beginning to melt
into darkness, he gave up the task and went to his bedroom, after
locking the door of the turret-room behind him and taking away the
Lair of the White Worm
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:
could not have spoken more plainly. She remained for a moment with her
eyes in d'Arthez's eyes, expressing in that one glance happiness,
prudery, fear, confidence, languor, a vague longing, and virgin
modesty. She was twenty years old! but remember, she had prepared for
this hour of comic falsehood by the choicest art of dress; she was
there in her armchair like a flower, ready to blossom at the first
kiss of sunshine. True or false, she intoxicated Daniel.
It if is permissible to risk a personal opinion we must avow that it
would be delightful to be thus deceived for a good long time.
Certainly Talma on the stage was often above and beyond nature, but
the Princesse de Cadignan is the greatest true comedian of our day.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:
Fougeray, who, under stress of an irresistible vocation, had just
entered the Carmelite Convent. Mme Chantereau, a distant cousin of
the Fougerays, told how the baroness had been obliged to take to her
bed the day after the ceremony, so overdone was she with weeping.
"I had a very good place," declared Leonide. "I found it
Nevertheless, Mme Hugon pitied the poor mother. How sad to lose a
daughter in such a way!
"I am accused of being overreligious," she said in her quiet, frank
manner, "but that does not prevent me thinking the children very
cruel who obstinately commit such suicide."
|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 Tales and Fantasies by Robert Louis Stevenson:
whoever succeeded her, Dick felt the change would be for the
worse. He hurried forward in this spirit; his anxiety grew
upon him with every step; as he entered the garden a voice
fell upon his ear, and he was once more arrested, not this
time by doubt, but by indubitable certainty of ill.
The thunderbolt had fallen; the Admiral was here.
Dick would have retreated, in the panic terror of the moment;
but Esther kept a bright look-out when her lover was
expected. In a twinkling she was by his side, brimful of
news and pleasure, too glad to notice his embarrassment, and
in one of those golden transports of exultation which