|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson:
have heard our own description put in practice.
'All night | the dread | less an | gel un | pursued,' (2)
goes the schoolboy; but though we close our ears, we cling to
our definition, in spite of its proved and naked
insufficiency. Mr. Jenkin was not so easily pleased, and
readily discovered that the heroic line consists of four
groups, or, if you prefer the phrase, contains four pauses:
'All night | the dreadless | angel | unpursued.'
Four groups, each practically uttered as one word: the
first, in this case, an iamb; the second, an amphibrachys;
the third, a trochee; and the fourth, an amphimacer; and yet
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:
and Mrs. Rucastle expressed a delight at the look of it, which
seemed quite exaggerated in its vehemence. They were waiting for
me in the drawing-room, which is a very large room, stretching
along the entire front of the house, with three long windows
reaching down to the floor. A chair had been placed close to the
central window, with its back turned towards it. In this I was
asked to sit, and then Mr. Rucastle, walking up and down on the
other side of the room, began to tell me a series of the funniest
stories that I have ever listened to. You cannot imagine how
comical he was, and I laughed until I was quite weary. Mrs.
Rucastle, however, who has evidently no sense of humour, never so
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
They set him free without his ransom paid,
In spite of Burgundy and all his friends.
See, then, thou fight'st against thy countrymen
And join'st with them will be thy slaughtermen.
Come, come, return; return, thou wandering lord;
Charles and the rest will take thee in their arms.
I am vanquished; these haughty words of hers
Have batt'red me like roaring cannon-shot,
And made me almost yield upon my knees.
Forgive me, country, and sweet countrymen,
|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 Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac:
the infinite rendered palpable, and transported into the most
excessive raptures of which the creature is capable. All that he saw
in this girl more distinctly than he had yet seen it, for she let
herself be viewed complacently, happy to be admired. The admiration of
De Marsay became a secret fury, and he unveiled her completely,
throwing a glance at her which the Spaniard understood as though she
had been used to receive such.
"If you are not to be mine, mine only, I will kill you!" he cried.
Hearing this speech, Paquita covered her face in her hands, and cried
"Holy Virgin! What have I brought upon myself?"
The Girl with the Golden Eyes