|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll:
"Long bills soon quenched the little thirst
I had for being funny.
The setting-up is always worst:
Such heaps of things you want at first,
One must be made of money!
"For instance, take a Haunted Tower,
With skull, cross-bones, and sheet;
Blue lights to burn (say) two an hour,
Condensing lens of extra power,
And set of chains complete:
"What with the things you have to hire -
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft:
still more complex. Atrophied and vestigial parts were surprisingly
prevalent. Altogether, little could be said to have been solved;
and Lake fell back on mythology for a provisional name - jocosely
dubbing his finds "The Elder Ones."
At about 2:30 A.M., having
decided to postpone further work and get a little rest, he covered
the dissected organism with a tarpaulin, emerged from the laboratory
tent, and studied the intact specimens with renewed interest.
The ceaseless antarctic sun had begun to limber up their tissues
a trifle, so that the head points and tubes of two or three showed
signs of unfolding; but Lake did not believe there was any danger
At the Mountains of Madness
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
than an old one, and it would be worse than wasted time to try to
recast the juvenile language: nor is it to be thought that I am
ashamed even of what I cancel; for great part of my earlier work was
rapidly written for temporary purposes, and is now unnecessary,
though true, even to truism. What I wrote about religion, was, on
the contrary, painstaking, and, I think, forcible, as compared with
most religious writing; especially in its frankness and
fearlessness: but it was wholly mistaken: for I had been educated
in the doctrines of a narrow sect, and had read history as obliquely
as sectarians necessarily must.
Mingled among these either unnecessary or erroneous statements, I
|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 House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,