|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Master of the World by Jules Verne:
permit the mad speed of this apparition which threatened to overthrow
and destroy everything in its passage, equipages and people. But how
could it be stopped? No one knew to whom the vehicle belonged, nor
whence it came, nor whither it went. It was seen but for an instant
as it darted forward like a bullet in its dizzy flight. How could one
seize a cannon-ball in the air, as it leaped from the mouth of the
I repeat, there was no evidence as to the character of the propelling
engine. It left behind it no smoke, no steam, no odor of gasoline, or
any other oil. It seemed probable, therefore, that the vehicle ran by
electricity, and that its accumulators were of an unknown model,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer:
I despair of writing convincingly. It was that of an archangel
of evil, and it was wholly dominated by the most uncanny
eyes that ever reflected a human soul, for they were narrow
and long, very slightly oblique, and of a brilliant green.
But their unique horror lay in a certain filminess
(it made me think of the membrana nictitans in a bird)
which, obscuring them as I threw wide the door, seemed to lift
as I actually passed the threshold, revealing the eyes in all
their brilliant iridescence.
I know that I stopped dead, one foot within the room, for the
malignant force of the man was something surpassing my experience.
The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte:
'You didn't hear, then, that I had got the living of F-?'
F- was a village about two miles distant from A-.
'No,' said I; 'we live so completely out of the world, even here,
that news seldom reaches me through any quarter; except through the
medium of the - GAZETTE. But I hope you like your new parish; and
that I may congratulate you on the acquisition?'
'I expect to like my parish better a year or two hence, when I have
worked certain reforms I have set my heart upon - or, at least,
progressed some steps towards such an achievement. But you may
congratulate me now; for I find it very agreeable to HAVE a parish
all to myself, with nobody to interfere with me - to thwart my
|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 A Simple Soul by Gustave Flaubert:
Monsieur Bourais. He reached for his map and began some explanations
concerning longitudes, and smiled with superiority at Felicite's
bewilderment. At last, he took a pencil and pointed out an
imperceptible black point in the scallops of an oval blotch, adding:
"There it is." She bent over the map; the maze of coloured lines hurt
her eyes without enlightening her; and when Bourais asked her what
puzzled her, she requested him to show her the house Victor lived in.
Bourais threw up his hands, sneezed, and then laughed uproariously;
such ignorance delighted his soul; but Felicite failed to understand
the cause of his mirth, she whose intelligence was so limited that she
perhaps expected to see even the picture of her nephew!
A Simple Soul