|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot:
Elsewhere in Flatland, Colour is now non-existent. The art
of making it is known to only one living person, the Chief Circle
for the time being; and by him it is handed down on his death-bed
to none but his Successor. One manufactory alone produces it; and,
lest the secret should be betrayed, the Workmen are annually consumed,
and fresh ones introduced. So great is the terror with which even now
our Aristocracy looks back to the far-distant days of the agitation
for the Universal Colour Bill.
Section 11. Concerning our Priests
It is high time that I should pass from these brief and discursive
notes about things in Flatland to the central event of this book,
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Wyoming by William MacLeod Raine:
she had lost him. His interest was perfunctory, and, though he
remained a little time longer, it was to establish his authority
with the men rather than to listen to her. Twice he looked at his
watch within five minutes.
He rose to go. "There is a little piece of business I have to put
through. So I'll have to ask y'u to excuse me. I have had a
delightful hour, and I hate to go." He smiled, and quoted with
"The hours I spent with thee, dear heart, Are as a string of
pearls to me; I count them over, every one apart, My rosary! My
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Second Home by Honore de Balzac:
the guileless face of Mademoiselle Angelique Bontems, the companion of
his childhood. Until he came to boyhood his father and mother had made
no objection to his intimacy with their neighbor's pretty little
daughter; but when, during his brief holiday visits to Bayeux, his
parents, who prided themselves on their good birth, saw what friends
the young people were, they forbade his ever thinking of her. Thus for
ten years past Granville had only had occasional glimpses of the girl,
whom he still sometimes thought of as "his little wife." And in those
brief moments when they met free from the active watchfulness of their
families, they had scarcely exchanged a few vague civilities at the
church door or in the street. Their happiest days had been those when,
|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 Ballads by Robert Louis Stevenson:
He saw the breakers shine, he heard them bellow and fall.
Alone, on the top of the reef, a man with a flaming brand
Walked, gazing and pausing, a fish-spear poised in his hand.
The foam boiled to his calf when the mightier breakers came,
And the torch shed in the wind scattering tufts of flame.
Afar on the dark lagoon a canoe lay idly at wait:
A figure dimly guiding it: surely the fisherman's mate.
Rahero saw and he smiled. He straightened his mighty thews:
Naked, with never a weapon, and covered with scorch and bruise,
He straightened his arms, he filled the void of his body with breath,
And, strong as the wind in his manhood, doomed the fisher to death.