|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker:
and egotistical, so appraise to themselves their own importance that
every other circumstance in life becomes subservient to it. The
disease supplies in itself the material for self-magnification.
When the decadence attacks a nature naturally proud and selfish and
vain, and lacking both the aptitude and habit of self-restraint, the
development of the disease is more swift, and ranges to farther
limits. It is such persons who become inbued with the idea that
they have the attributes of the Almighty--even that they themselves
are the Almighty.
Mimi had a suspicion--or rather, perhaps, an intuition--of the true
state of things when she heard him speak, and at the same time
Lair of the White Worm
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Iliad by Homer:
Meriones, peer of fleet Mars, then led the way till they came to
the part of the host which Idomeneus had named.
Now when the Trojans saw Idomeneus coming on like a flame of
fire, him and his squire clad in their richly wrought armour,
they shouted and made towards him all in a body, and a furious
hand-to-hand fight raged under the ships' sterns. Fierce as the
shrill winds that whistle upon a day when dust lies deep on the
roads, and the gusts raise it into a thick cloud--even such was
the fury of the combat, and might and main did they hack at each
other with spear and sword throughout the host. The field
bristled with the long and deadly spears which they bore.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:
was known by it almost all over the town.
I was now about ten years old, and began to look a little
womanish, for I was mighty grave and humble, very mannerly,
and as I had often heard the ladies say I was pretty, and would
be a very handsome woman, so you may be sure that hearing
them say so made me not a little proud. However, that pride
had no ill effect upon me yet; only, as they often gave me
money, and I gave it to my old nurse, she, honest woman,
was so just to me as to lay it all out again for me, and gave
me head-dresses, and linen, and gloves, and ribbons, and I
went very neat, and always clean; for that I would do, and if
|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 Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
poverty; "take them, he has the ransom of two kings in his pouch."
The three left the atelier and proceeded, talking all the way of art,
to a handsome wooden house standing near the Pont Saint-Michel, whose
window-casings and arabesque decoration amazed Poussin. The embryo
painter soon found himself in one of the rooms on the ground floor
seated, beside a good fire, at a table covered with appetizing dishes,
and, by unexpected good fortune, in company with two great artists who
treated him with kindly attention.
"Young man," said Porbus, observing that he was speechless, with his
eyes fixed on a picture, "do not look at that too long, or you will
fall into despair."