|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
of the tempest, uplifted his mace outright, and, with blows, made
quickly room in the plankings of the door for his gauntleted
hand; and now pulling therewith sturdily, he so cracked, and
ripped, and tore all asunder, that the noise of the dry and
hollow-sounding wood alarmed and reverberated throughout the
At the termination of this sentence I started, and for a
moment, paused; for it appeared to me (although I at once
concluded that my excited fancy had deceived me)--it appeared to
me that, from some very remote portion of the mansion, there
came, indistinctly, to my ears, what might have been, in its
The Fall of the House of Usher
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Republic by Plato:
Yes, that was a mighty wave which you have escaped.
Yes, I said, but a greater is coming; you will not think much of this when
you see the next.
Go on; let me see.
The law, I said, which is the sequel of this and of all that has preceded,
is to the following effect,--'that the wives of our guardians are to be
common, and their children are to be common, and no parent is to know his
own child, nor any child his parent.'
Yes, he said, that is a much greater wave than the other; and the
possibility as well as the utility of such a law are far more questionable.
I do not think, I said, that there can be any dispute about the very great
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Time Machine by H. G. Wells:
lasted a week, and ended--as I will tell you!
`She was exactly like a child. She wanted to be with me
always. She tried to follow me everywhere, and on my next
journey out and about it went to my heart to tire her down, and
leave her at last, exhausted and calling after me rather
plaintively. But the problems of the world had to be mastered.
I had not, I said to myself, come into the future to carry on a
miniature flirtation. Yet her distress when I left her was very
great, her expostulations at the parting were sometimes frantic,
and I think, altogether, I had as much trouble as comfort from
her devotion. Nevertheless she was, somehow, a very great
The Time Machine
|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 Astoria by Washington Irving:
interdicted the prime hands from engaging in this new service; so
that, although liberal terms were offered, few presented
themselves but such as were not worth having.
From these Mr. Hunt engaged a number sufficient, as he supposed,
for present purposes; and, having laid in a supply of ammunition,
provisions, and Indian goods, embarked all on board one of those
great canoes at that time universally used by the fur traders for
navigating the intricate and often-obstructed rivers. The canoe
was between thirty and forty feet long, and several feet in
width; constructed of birch bark, sewed with fibres of the roots
of the spruce tree, and daubed with resin of the pine, instead of