|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War by Frederick A. Talbot:
be responsible for the appearance of new types, as well as
certain modifications in the detail construction of the existing
machines, but there is every indication that the broad lines of
Etrich's conception will be retained in all monoplanes.
There is one point in which Germany has excelled. Wood is not
employed in the construction of these heavier-than-air craft.
Steel and the lighter tough alloys are exclusively used. In this
way the minimum of weight consistent with the maximum of strength
policy is carried out. Moreover the manufacture of component
parts is facilitated and accelerated to a remarkable degree by
the use of metal, while the tasks of fitting and repairing are
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
so what is the good of all these preparations of
"'Even so, it is better to do all this,' he replied,
'so that I may have an easy conscience.'
"A pretty conscience, forsooth!
"After midday Bela began to suffer from
thirst. We opened the windows, but it was
hotter outside than in the room; we placed
ice round the bed -- all to no purpose. I knew
that that intolerable thirst was a sign of the
approaching end, and I told Pechorin so.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Underground City by Jules Verne:
The passage, after ascending obliquely to the surface of the ground,
led out directly among the ruins of Dundonald Castle.
There was, therefore, a communication between New Aberfoyle and the hills
crowned by this ancient castle. The upper entrance to this gallery,
being completely concealed by stones and brushwood, was invisible
from without; at the time of their search, therefore, the magistrates
had been able to discover nothing.
A few days afterwards, James Starr, guided by Harry, came himself to
inspect this curious natural opening into the coal mine. "Well," said he,
"here is enough to convince the most superstitious among us.
Farewell to all their brownies, goblins, and fire-maidens now!"
|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 A Distinguished Provincial at Paris by Honore de Balzac:
for the Constitutionnel.
"Fame means twelve thousand francs in reviews, and a thousand more for
dinners, General," said Dauriat. "If M. Benjamin de Constant means to
write a paper on this young poet, it will not be long before I make a
bargain with him."
At the title of General, and the distinguished name of Benjamin
Constant, the bookseller's shop took the proportions of Olympus for
the provincial great man.
"Lousteau, I want a word with you," said Finot; "but I shall see you
again later, at the theatre.--Dauriat, I will take your offer, but on
conditions. Let us step into your office."