|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson:
glee. He seems full of cheerfulness and thick-set energy. I
feel as if I could put him in a novel with effect; and ten to
one, if I know more of him, the image will be only blurred.
TUESDAY, DEC. 2ND.
I should have told you yesterday that all my boys were got up
for their work in moustaches and side-whiskers of some sort
of blacking - I suppose wood-ash. It was a sight of joy to
see them return at night, axe on shoulder, feigning to march
like soldiers, a choragus with a loud voice singing out,
'March-step! March-step!' in imperfect recollection of some
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
tents were like huts amid an inundation, stretched as far as the first
lines of the other Barbarians, which were streaming with steel and
were posted symmetrically upon both sides of the aqueduct.
The Carthaginians had not recovered from the terror caused by their
arrival when they perceived the siege-engines sent by the Tyrian towns
coming straight towards them like monsters and like buildings--with
their masts, arms, ropes, articulations, capitals and carapaces, sixty
carroballistas, eighty onagers, thirty scorpions, fifty tollenos,
twelve rams, and three gigantic catapults which hurled pieces of rock
of the weight of fifteen talents. Masses of men clinging to their
bases pushed them on; at every step a quivering shook them, and in
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Case of the Registered Letter by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
his mind clear to consider evidence before him.
Graumann had risen from his sitting position when he saw a stranger.
His heavy brows drew down over his, eyes, but he waited for the
other to speak.
"I am Detective Joseph Muller, from Vienna," began the newcomer,
when he had seen that the prisoner did not intend to start the
"Have you come to question me again?" asked Graumann wearily. "I
can say no more than I have already said to the Police Commissioner.
And no amount of cross-examination can make me confess a crime of
which T am not guilty - no matter what evidence there may be against
|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 Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
years, he had never ventured forth--in regard to an influence
whose supposititious force was conveyed in terms too shadowy here
to be re-stated--an influence which some peculiarities in the
mere form and substance of his family mansion, had, by
dint of long sufferance, he said, obtained over his spirit--an
effect which the physique of the grey walls and turrets, and
of the dim tarn into which they all looked down, had, at length,
brought about upon the morale of his existence.
He admitted, however, although with hesitation, that much of
the peculiar gloom which thus afflicted him could be traced to a
more natural and far more palpable origin--to the severe and
The Fall of the House of Usher