|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:
glass; the sitting-room boasted only of a few of the roughest
chairs and stools, with a couple of tables. The supper, although
several strangers were present, consisted of two huge
piles, one of roast beef, the other of boiled, with some pieces
of pumpkin: besides this latter there was no other vegetable,
and not even a morsel of bread. For drinking, a large
earthenware jug of water served the whole party. Yet this
man was the owner of several square miles of land, of which
nearly every acre would produce corn, and, with a little
trouble, all the common vegetables. The evening was spent in
smoking, with a little impromptu singing, accompanied by
The Voyage of the Beagle
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:
honour. Are you?"
"Come! None of that," said the officer impatiently. "Let us have
that friend of yours."
"What do you think I am?" asked Almayer, fiercely.
"You are drunk, but not so drunk as not to know what you are
doing. Enough of this tomfoolery," said the officer sternly, "or
I will have you put under arrest in your own house."
"Arrest!" laughed Almayer, discordantly. "Ha! ha! ha! Arrest!
Why, I have been trying to get out of this infernal place for
twenty years, and I can't. You hear, man! I can't, and never
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lin McLean by Owen Wister:
"Walk her up and down," said Barker. "Keep her moving. I'll look what I
can find. Keep her moving brisk." At once he was out of the door; and
before his running steps had died away, the fiddle had taken up its tune
across the quadrangle.
"'Buffalo Girls!'" exclaimed the woman. "Old times! Old times!"
"Come," said McLean. "Walk." And he took her.
Her head was full of the music. Forgetting all but that, she went with
him easily, and the two made their first turns around the room. Whenever
he brought her near the entrance, she leaned away from him toward the
open door, where the old fiddle tune was coming in from the dark. But
presently she noticed that she was being led, and her face turned sullen.
|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 Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
room, and now and then blowing his clouds of tobacco smoke among
the pink and gold hangings of the drawing-room. After a little I
joined him in the billiard-room, and together we went over the
details of the discovery of the body.
The card-room was quite dark. Where we sat, in the billiard-
room, only one of the side brackets was lighted, and we spoke in
subdued tones, as the hour and the subject seemed to demand.
When I spoke of the figure Liddy and I had seen on the porch
through the card-room window Friday night, Halsey sauntered
into the darkened room, and together we stood there, much as
Liddy and I had done that other night.
The Circular Staircase