|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
from day in the cavern.
Captain Nemo suffered no pain, but he was visibly sinking. His noble
features, paled by the approach of death, were perfectly calm. Inaudible
words escaped at intervals from his lips, bearing upon various incidents of
his checkered career. Life was evidently ebbing slowly and his extremities
were already cold.
Once or twice more he spoke to the colonists who stood around him, and
smiled on them with that last smile which continues after death.
At length, shortly after midnight, Captain Nemo by a supreme effort
succeeded in folding his arms across his breast, as if wishing in that
attitude to compose himself for death.
The Mysterious Island
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
be and is not-being, and is to be reckoned one among the many classes of
being. Do you, Theaetetus, still feel any doubt of this?
THEAETETUS: None whatever.
STRANGER: Do you observe that our scepticism has carried us beyond the
range of Parmenides' prohibition?
THEAETETUS: In what?
STRANGER: We have advanced to a further point, and shown him more than he
forbad us to investigate.
THEAETETUS: How is that?
STRANGER: Why, because he says--
'Not-being never is, and do thou keep thy thoughts from this way of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:
"Perhaps it will be easier for you to-morrow than it was to-day?"
"I am sure it will. To-morrow will be sure to be better than
She left him, and went away with a step that did not echo the
promise of her words.
Joel, meanwhile, consulted apart with his mistress.
"Of course," she said, emphatically.--"You must stay until
morning, Lois. It is too late. Joel will toss you up a bed in
The queer little body hesitated.
Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
|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 Witch, et. al by Anton Chekhov:
Klavdia Abramovna. Let her sell and pawn everything she has; let
her send us the money. We will go away from here. Oh, Lord," he
went on miserably, "to have one peep at Moscow! If I could see it
in my dreams, the dear place!
And when the evening came on, and it was dark in the hut, it was
so dismal that it was hard to utter a word. Granny, very
ill-tempered, soaked some crusts of rye bread in a cup, and was a
long time, a whole hour, sucking at them. Marya, after milking
the cow, brought in a pail of milk and set it on a bench; then
Granny poured it from the pail into a jug just as slowly and
deliberately, evidently pleased that it was now the Fast of the