|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Off on a Comet by Jules Verne:
the heat upon Gourbi Island is not greater now than we might ordinarily
expect to find in Algeria. At the same time, we have the problem
still unsolved that the Mediterranean has evidently been transported
to the equatorial zone."
Both the count and the captain expressed themselves reassured by
his representations, and observed that they must now do all in their
power to discover what had become of the vast continent of Africa,
of which, they were hitherto failing so completely to find a vestige.
Twenty-four hours after leaving the island, the _Dobryna_ had passed over
the sites where Tenes, Cherchil, Koleah, and Sidi-Feruch once had been,
but of these towns not one appeared within range of the telescope.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:
knocked it out, and tumbled after it into the yard.
Suddenly I found myself running across the north end of Black Hawk in my
night-shirt, just as one sometimes finds one's self behaving in bad dreams.
When I got home, I climbed in at the kitchen window. I was covered with
blood from my nose and lip, but I was too sick to do anything about it.
I found a shawl and an overcoat on the hat-rack, lay down on the parlour sofa,
and in spite of my hurts, went to sleep.
Grandmother found me there in the morning. Her cry of fright
awakened me. Truly, I was a battered object. As she helped
me to my room, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
My lip was cut and stood out like a snout. My nose looked like a big
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kenilworth by Walter Scott:
before the Queen."
"My mind revolts from your counsel," said Tressilian. "I cannot
brook to plead my noble patron's cause the unhappy Amy's cause--
before any one save my lawful Sovereign. Leicester, thou wilt
say, is noble. Be it so; he is but a subject like ourselves, and
I will not carry my plaint to him, if I can do better. Still, I
will think on what thou hast said; but I must have your
assistance to persuade the good Sir Hugh to make me his
commissioner and fiduciary in this matter, for it is in his name
I must speak, and not in my own. Since she is so far changed as
to dote upon this empty profligate courtier, he shall at least do
|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 Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot:
occupied the whole of the narrow path, so to speak, which constituted
his Universe, and no one could move to the right or left
to make way for passers by, it followed that no Linelander
could ever pass another. Once neighbours, always neighbours.
Neighbourhood with them was like marriage with us.
Neighbours remained neighbours till death did them part.
Such a life, with all vision limited to a Point, and all motion
to a Straight Line, seemed to me inexpressibly dreary; and I was
surprised to note the vivacity and cheerfulness of the King.
Wondering whether it was possible, amid circumstances so unfavourable
to domestic relations, to enjoy the pleasures of conjugal union,
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions