|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Van De Grift Stevenson:
I could not restrain a cry of admiration.
'Even in your ignorant eyes,' pursued my father, 'they
command respect. Yet what are they but pebbles, passive to
the tool, cold as death? Ingrate!' he cried. 'Each one of
these - miracles of nature's patience, conceived out of the
dust in centuries of microscopical activity, each one is, for
you and me, a year of life, liberty, and mutual affection.
How, then, should I cherish them! and why do I delay to place
them beyond reach! Teresa, follow me.'
He rose to his feet, and led me to the borders of the great
jungle, where they overhung, in a wall of poisonous and dusky
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:
island. They may be illusions, but at least they are very
interesting illusions. One might live ten lifetimes and find
nothing else of the sort. Therefore I should like to see the end
of the dream."
Bickley reflected a little, then said:
"On the whole I agree with you. Only my brain totters and I am
terribly afraid of madness. I cannot believe what I seem to hear
and see, and that way madness lies. It is better to die than to
"You'll do that anyway when your time comes, Bickley, I mean
decease, of course," interrupted Bastin. "And who knows, perhaps
When the World Shook
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Middlemarch by George Eliot:
Vertue attired in woman see,
And dare love that, and say so too,
And forget the He and She;
And if this love, though placed so,
From prophane men you hide,
Which will no faith on this bestow,
Or, if they doe, deride:
Then you have done a braver thing
Than all the Worthies did,
And a braver thence will spring,
Which is, to keep that hid."
|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 Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne:
been five minutes sat upon the sofa beside her, but I had begun to
form designs; - and what is it, but the sentiments of religion, and
the persuasion they had excited in her breast, which could have
check'd them as they rose up?
We are not adamant, said I, taking hold of her hand; - and there is
need of all restraints, till age in her own time steals in and lays
them on us. - But my dear lady, said I, kissing her hand, - 'tis
too - too soon.
I declare I had the credit all over Paris of unperverting Madame de
V-. - She affirmed to Monsieur D- and the Abbe M-, that in one half
hour I had said more for revealed religion, than all their