|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson:
principle; but it is useless to push principle to excess, and on
this occasion I believe that I finished three-quarters of the
bottle. As I ate, I still continued to admire the preparations for
"We could stand a siege," I said at length.
"Ye-es," drawled Northmour; "a very little one, per-haps. It is
not so much the strength of the pavilion I misdoubt; it is the
doubled anger that kills me. If we get to shooting, wild as the
country is some one is sure to hear it, and then - why then it's
the same thing, only different, as they say: caged by law, or
killed by CARBONARI. There's the choice. It is a devilish bad
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
Verloc's walks. She watched the two figures down the squalid
street, one tall and burly, the other slight and short, with a thin
neck, and the peaked shoulders raised slightly under the large
semi-transparent ears. The material of their overcoats was the
same, their hats were black and round in shape. Inspired by the
similarity of wearing apparel, Mrs Verloc gave rein to her fancy.
"Might be father and son," she said to herself. She thought also
that Mr Verloc was as much of a father as poor Stevie ever had in
his life. She was aware also that it was her work. And with
peaceful pride she congratulated herself on a certain resolution
she had taken a few years before. It had cost her some effort, and
The Secret Agent
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells:
Montgomery swore under his breath. I had half a mind to attack him
about the men on the beach. Then the poor brute within gave vent
to a series of short, sharp cries.
"Your men on the beach," said I; "what race are they?"
"Excellent fellows, aren't they?" said he, absentmindedly,
knitting his brows as the animal yelled out sharply.
I said no more. There was another outcry worse than the former.
He looked at me with his dull grey eyes, and then took some
more whiskey. He tried to draw me into a discussion about alcohol,
professing to have saved my life with it. He seemed anxious
to lay stress on the fact that I owed my life to him. I answered
The Island of Doctor Moreau
|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 Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:
are dearest, are profoundly unconscious of us, in an impassive
state, anticipative of that mysterious condition to which we are
all tending--the stopped life, the broken threads of yesterday, the
deserted seat, the closed book, the unfinished but abandoned
occupation, all are images of Death. The tranquillity of the hour
is the tranquillity of Death. The color and the chill have the
same association. Even a certain air that familiar household
objects take upon them when they first emerge from the shadows of
the night into the morning, of being newer, and as they used to be
long ago, has its counterpart in the subsidence of the worn face of
maturity or age, in death, into the old youthful look. Moreover, I