|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
head the cap with which he had been fanning himself.
"Forward then, my respectable privy councillor," replied Colonel
Philippe, whistling to the dogs, who seemed more willing to obey him
than the public functionary to whom they belonged.
"Are you aware, marquis," said the jeering soldier, "that we still
have six miles to go? That village over there must be Baillet."
"Good heavens!" cried the marquis, "go to Cassan if you must, but
you'll go alone. I prefer to stay here, in spite of the coming storm,
and wait for the horse you can send me from the chateau. You've played
me a trick, Sucy. We were to have had a nice little hunt not far from
Cassan, and beaten the coverts I know. Instead of that, you have kept
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells:
towards Primrose Hill. Far away, through a gap in the trees,
I saw a second Martian, as motionless as the first, standing
in the park towards the Zoological Gardens, and silent. A
little beyond the ruins about the smashed handling-machine
I came upon the red weed again, and found the Regent's
Canal, a spongy mass of dark-red vegetation.
As I crossed the bridge, the sound of "Ulla, ulla, ulla,
ulla," ceased. It was, as it were, cut off. The silence came
like a thunderclap.
The dusky houses about me stood faint and tall and dim;
the trees towards the park were growing black. All about
War of the Worlds
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
robes girt with a golden chain from which hung the fish-like
scales. There, too, were a number of the lords, each with a
band of brilliantly attired attendants, and prominent among them
was Nasta, stroking his black beard meditatively and looking
unusually pleasant. It was a splendid and impressive sight,
especially when the officer after having read out each law handed
them to the Queens to sign, whereon the trumpets blared out and
the Queens' guard grounded their spears with a crash in salute.
This reading and signing of the laws took a long time, but at
length it came to an end, the last one reciting that 'whereas
distinguished strangers, etc.', and proceeding to confer on the
|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 Critias by Plato:
verisimilitude to his story. To the Greek such a tale, like that of the
earth-born men, would have seemed perfectly accordant with the character of
his mythology, and not more marvellous than the wonders of the East
narrated by Herodotus and others: he might have been deceived into
believing it. But it appears strange that later ages should have been
imposed upon by the fiction. As many attempts have been made to find the
great island of Atlantis, as to discover the country of the lost tribes.
Without regard to the description of Plato, and without a suspicion that
the whole narrative is a fabrication, interpreters have looked for the spot
in every part of the globe, America, Arabia Felix, Ceylon, Palestine,