|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Time Machine by H. G. Wells:
came through the passage here, limping, because my heel was still
painful, and feeling sorely begrimed. I saw the PALL MALL
GAZETTE on the table by the door. I found the date was indeed
to-day, and looking at the timepiece, saw the hour was almost
eight o'clock. I heard your voices and the clatter of plates. I
hesitated--I felt so sick and weak. Then I sniffed good
wholesome meat, and opened the door on you. You know the rest.
I washed, and dined, and now I am telling you the story.
`I know,' he said, after a pause, `that all this will be
absolutely incredible to you. To me the one incredible thing is
that I am here to-night in this old familiar room looking into
The Time Machine
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:
the war. The conversation grew lively. Prosper Magnan brought a few
tears to the merchant's eyes, when with the frankness and naivete of a
good and tender nature, he talked of what his mother must be doing at
that hour, while he was sitting drinking on the banks of the Rhine.
"I can see her," he said, "reading her prayers before she goes to bed.
She won't forget me; she is certain to say to herself, 'My poor
Prosper; I wonder where he is now!' If she has won a few sous from her
neighbors--your mother, perhaps," he added, nudging Wilhelm's elbow--
"she'll go and put them in the great red earthenware pot, where she is
accumulating a sum sufficient to buy the thirty acres adjoining her
little estate at Lescheville. Those thirty acres are worth at least
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
guessed by Gobseck's perspicacity or by my own.
"When the Comte de Restaud apparently plunged into the vortex of
dissipation, something passed between the husband and wife, something
which remains an impenetrable secret, but the wife sank even lower in
the husband's eyes. As soon as he became so ill that he was obliged to
take to his bed, he manifested his aversion for the Countess and the
two youngest children. He forbade them to enter his room, and any
attempt to disobey his wishes brought on such dangerous attacks that
the doctor implored the Countess to submit to her husband's wish.
"Mme. de Restaud had seen the family estates and property, nay, the
very mansion in which she lived, pass into the hands of Gobseck, who
|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 Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson:
"I have indeed lived fifteen years in solitude," said the hermit,
"but have no desire that my example should gain any imitators. In
my youth I professed arms, and was raised by degrees to the highest
military rank. I have traversed wide countries at the head of my
troops, and seen many battles and sieges. At last, being disgusted
by the preferments of a younger officer, and feeling that my vigour
was beginning to decay, I resolved to close my life in peace,
having found the world full of snares, discord, and misery. I had
once escaped from the pursuit of the enemy by the shelter of this
cavern, and therefore chose it for my final residence. I employed