|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
brain, and shudder at the manuscripts in which I gave that dark
idea a sort of material existence! Would they were out of my
"And of mine, too," thought I.
"You remember," continued Oberon, "how the hellish thing used to
suck away the happiness of those who, by a simple concession that
seemed almost innocent, subjected themselves to his power. Just
so my peace is gone, and all by these accursed manuscripts. Have
you felt nothing of the same influence?"
"Nothing," replied I, "unless the spell be hid in a desire to
turn novelist, after reading your delightful tales."
The Snow Image
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Human Drift by Jack London:
catches both her hands in his and compels her to look at him. She
NED. [Putting one arm protectingly around her shoulder and
drawing her toward him.] There, there, little one, don't cry.
LORETTA. [Turning her face to his shoulder like a tired child,
sobbing.] Oh, Ned, if you only knew how wicked I am.
NED. [Smiling indulgently.] What is the matter, little one? Has
your dearly beloved sister failed to write to you? [LORETTA
shakes head.] Has Hemingway been bullying you? [LORETTA shakes
head.] Then it must have been that caller of yours? [Long pause,
during which LORETTA's weeping grows more violent.] Tell me
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane:
"Oh, hell," said Pete, easily. "Go fall on yerself."
The two men again began to laugh.
"What deh hell is dat talkin'?" cried the companion.
"Damned if I knows," replied Jimmie with exaggerated contempt.
Pete made a furious gesture. "Git outa here now, an' don' make
no trouble. See? Youse fellers er lookin' fer a scrap an' it's
damn likely yeh'll fin' one if yeh keeps on shootin' off yer mout's.
I know yehs! See? I kin lick better men dan yehs ever saw in yer lifes.
Dat's right! See? Don' pick me up fer no stuff er yeh might be jolted
out in deh street before yeh knows where yeh is. When I comes from behind
dis bar, I t'rows yehs bote inteh deh street. See?"
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
|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 De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:
dialogue and costume and gesture even, of the Passion of her Lord;
and it is always a source of pleasure and awe to me to remember
that the ultimate survival of the Greek chorus, lost elsewhere to
art, is to be found in the servitor answering the priest at Mass.
Yet the whole life of Christ - so entirely may sorrow and beauty be
made one in their meaning and manifestation - is really an idyll,
though it ends with the veil of the temple being rent, and the
darkness coming over the face of the earth, and the stone rolled to
the door of the sepulchre. One always thinks of him as a young
bridegroom with his companions, as indeed he somewhere describes
himself; as a shepherd straying through a valley with his sheep in