|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
painted and read together; or I listened, as if in a dream, to
the wild improvisations of his speaking guitar. And thus, as a
closer and still closer intimacy admitted me more unreservedly
into the recesses of his spirit, the more bitterly did I perceive
the futility of all attempt at cheering a mind from which
darkness, as if an inherent positive quality, poured forth upon
all objects of the moral and physical universe, in one unceasing
radiation of gloom.
I shall ever bear about me a memory of the many solemn hours
I thus spent alone with the master of the House of Usher. Yet I
should fail in any attempt to convey an idea of the exact
The Fall of the House of Usher
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:
"Oh, Edward, how lucky it was you did him that grand service, poor
Goodson! I never liked him, but I love him now. And it was fine
and beautiful of you never to mention it or brag about it." Then,
with a touch of reproach, "But you ought to have told ME, Edward,
you ought to have told your wife, you know."
"Well, I--er--well, Mary, you see--"
"Now stop hemming and hawing, and tell me about it, Edward. I
always loved you, and now I'm proud of you. Everybody believes
there was only one good generous soul in this village, and now it
turns out that you-- Edward, why don't you tell me?"
"Well--er--er--Why, Mary, I can't!"
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
from far and near to do her honour. It is inconceivable that Mr.
Nicholas B. should not have been of the number. The little child
a few months old he had taken up in his arms on the day of his
home-coming, after years of war and exile, was confessing her
faith in national salvation by suffering exile in her turn. I do
not know whether he was present on the very day of our departure.
I have already admitted that for me he is more especially the man
who in his youth had eaten roast dog in the depths of a gloomy
forest of snow-loaded pines. My memory cannot place him in any
remembered scene. A hooked nose, some sleek white hair, an
unrelated evanescent impression of a meagre, slight, rigid figure
A Personal Record
|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 Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard:
are but the Wolf-Brethren and their pack. What! will ye run from dogs,
ye who have laughed at the spears of men? Ring round! Stand fast!"
The soldiers heard the voice of their captain, and they obeyed his
voice, forming a double circle, a ring within a ring. They looked to
the right, there, Groan-Maker aloft, the wolf fangs on his brow, the
worn wolf-hide streaming on the wind, Bulalio rushed upon them like a
storm, and with him came his red-eyed company. They looked to the left
--ah, well they know that mighty Watcher! Have they not heard his
strokes down by the river, and well they know the giant who wields it
like a wand, the Wolf King, with the strength of ten! Wow! They are
here! See the people black and grey, hear them howl their war-chant!
Nada the Lily