|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:
to tell me.
I became extremely frightened. But man, reckless animal, is so made
that in him curiosity, the paltriest curiosity, will overcome all
terrors, every disgust, and even despair itself. To my laconic
invitation to come in for a drink he answered by a deep, gravely
accented: "Thanks, I will" as though it were a response in church.
His face as seen in the lamplight gave me no clue to the character
of the impending communication; as indeed from the nature of things
it couldn't do, its normal expression being already that of the
utmost possible seriousness. It was perfect and immovable; and for
a certainty if he had something excruciatingly funny to tell me it
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence:
him into the dark, ugly basement, and lifted her arms to him.
He kissed her, and the intensity of passion began to burn him again.
Somebody was at the door. He ran upstairs; she returned to her room,
moving as if in a trance.
After that the fire slowly went down. He felt more and more that
his experience had been impersonal, and not Clara. He loved her.
There was a big tenderness, as after a strong emotion they
had known together; but it was not she who could keep his soul steady.
He had wanted her to be something she could not be.
And she was mad with desire of him. She could not see
him without touching him. In the factory, as he talked to her
Sons and Lovers
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther:
faith. When we teach justification by faith in Christ we confess at the same
time that Christ is God.
I cannot get over the blindness of the Pope's theologians. To imagine that
the mighty forces of sin, death, and the curse can be vanquished by the
righteousness of man's paltry works, by fasting, pilgrimages, masses, vows,
and such gewgaws. These blind leaders of the blind turn the poor people
over to the mercy of sin, death, and the devil. What chance has a
defenseless human creature against these powers of darkness? They train
sinners who are ten times worse than any thief, whore, murderer. The
divine power of God alone can destroy sin and death, and create
righteousness and life.
|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 Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson:
to Grove; but I've no word of either. So I've not been idle.
R. L. S.
Letter: TO W. E. HENLEY
CHAUNY, AISNE [SEPTEMBER 1876].
MY DEAR HENLEY, - Here I am, you see; and if you will take to a
map, you will observe I am already more than two doors from
Antwerp, whence I started. I have fought it through under the
worst weather I ever saw in France; I have been wet through nearly
every day of travel since the second (inclusive); besides this, I
have had to fight against pretty mouldy health; so that, on the
whole, the essayist and reviewer has shown, I think, some pluck.