|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
in a lot out of one's head, and sometimes it doesn't. I mean that
the story isn't worth it. Everything's in that."
It amused me to talk to him like this. He reflected audibly that
he guessed story-writers were out after money like the rest of the
world which had to live by its wits: and that it was extraordinary
how far people who were out after money would go. . . Some of them.
Then he made a sally against sea life. Silly sort of life, he
called it. No opportunities, no experience, no variety, nothing.
Some fine men came out of it - he admitted - but no more chance in
the world if put to it than fly. Kids. So Captain Harry Dunbar.
Good sailor. Great name as a skipper. Big man; short side-
Within the Tides
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
Nothing in Catholic theology, I imagine, has ever spoken to sick
souls as straight as this message from Luther's personal
experience. As Protestants are not all sick souls, of course
reliance on what Luther exults in calling the dung of one's
merits, the filthy puddle of one's own righteousness, has come to
the front again in their religion; but the adequacy of his view
of Christianity to the deeper parts of our human mental structure
is shown by its wildfire contagiousness when it was a new and
Faith that Christ has genuinely done his work was part of
what Luther meant by faith, which so far is faith in a fact
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:
sat in the dark, listening and watching and shivering, stood a
pitcher of food. Beside her, in that place, it was damning
evidence, and I trembled least the Lieutenant's eye should fall
upon it, lest the sergeant should see it; and then, in a moment,
I forgot all about it. The Lieutenant was speaking and his voice
was doom. My throat grew dry as I listened; my tongue stuck to
my mouth I tried to look at Mademoiselle, but I could not.
'It is true that the Captain is gone,' he said stiffly, 'but
others are alive, and about one of them a word with you, by your
leave, Mademoiselle. I have listened to a good deal of talk from
this fine gentleman friend of yours. He has spent the last
|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 Kenilworth by Walter Scott:
with scorn. You can apply to no magistrate for aid or
countenance; and you are hunting, therefore, a shadow in water,
and will only (excuse my plainness) come by ducking and danger in
attempting to catch it."
"I will appeal to the Earl of Leicester," said Tressilian,
"against the infamy of his favourite. He courts the severe and
strict sect of Puritans. He dare not, for the sake of his own
character, refuse my appeal, even although he were destitute of
the principles of honour and nobleness with which fame invests
him. Or I will appeal to the Queen herself."
"Should Leicester," said the landlord, "be disposed to protect