|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:
silence by a decaying taper, and amidst the solitude of a half-
lighted apartment, it may redeem its character as a good ghost
story. Miss Seward always affirmed that she had derived her
information from an authentic source, although she suppressed the
names of the two persons chiefly concerned. I will not avail
myself of any particulars I may have since received concerning
the localities of the detail, but suffer them to rest under the
same general description in which they were first related to me;
and for the same reason I will not add to or diminish the
narrative by any circumstance, whether more or less material, but
simply rehearse, as I heard it, a story of supernatural terror.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates by Howard Pyle:
vessels out there," said the boatswain. "He'll give any man five
pound to pilot him in." The men on the wharf looked at one
another, but still no one spoke, and the boatswain stood looking
at them. He saw that they did not choose to answer him. "Why,"
he said, "I believe you've not got right wits--that's what I
believe is the matter with you. Pull me up to the landing, men,
and I'll go ashore and see if I can find anybody that's willing
to make five pound for such a little bit of piloting as that."
After the boatswain had gone ashore the loungers still stood on
the wharf, looking down into the boat, and began talking to one
another for the men below to hear them. "They're coming in,"
Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn:
air. Sunset came, and with it the ponderous heat lifted,--a
sudden breeze blew,--lightnings flickered in the darkening
horizon,--wind and water began to strive together,--and soon all
the low coast boomed. Then my companion began his story; perhaps
the coming of the storm inspired him to speak! And as I listened
to him, listening also to the clamoring of the coast, there
flashed back to me recollection of a singular Breton fancy: that
the Voice of the Sea is never one voice, but a tumult of many
voices--voices of drowned men,--the muttering of multitudinous
dead,--the moaning of innumerable ghosts, all rising, to rage
against the living, at the great Witch call of storms....
|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 Fables by Robert Louis Stevenson:
put in the same field with a saddle-horse to run free on the
island. They were rather afraid to go near him, for they saw he
was a saddle-horse, and supposed he would not speak to them. Now
the saddle-horse had never seen creatures so big. "These must be
great chiefs," thought he, and he approached them civilly. "Lady
and gentleman," said he, "I understand you are from the colonies.
I offer you my affectionate compliments, and make you heartily
welcome to the islands."
The colonials looked at him askance, and consulted with each other.
"Who can he be?" said the gelding.
"He seems suspiciously civil," said the mare.