|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer:
Of another circumstance I became aware, and a disquieting circumstance.
There were fewer murmurings and sighings from the surrounding bunks.
The presence of the crouching figure had created a sudden semi-silence
in the den, which could only mean that some of the supposed opium-smokers
had merely feigned coma and the approach of coma.
Nayland Smith lay like a dead man, and trusting to the darkness,
I, too, lay prone and still, but watched the evil face bending
lower and lower, until it came within a few inches of my own.
I completely closed my eyes.
Delicate fingers touched my right eyelid. Divining what was coming,
I rolled my eyes up, as the lid was adroitly lifted and lowered again.
The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
me for this mystery, explain such a flagrant disagreement between
your opinions and your conduct. You do not believe in God, and
yet you attend mass? My dear master, you are bound to give me an
"I am like a great many devout people, men who on the surface are
deeply religious, but quite as much atheists as you or I can be."
And he poured out a torrent of epigrams on certain political
personages, of whom the best known gives us, in this century, a
new edition of Moliere's Tartufe.
"All that has nothing to do with my question," retorted Bianchon.
"I want to know the reason for what you have just been doing, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:
and made blundering efforts to warm up the atmosphere.
On his way home from his dull call, he would perhaps
meet Tony and Lena, coming along the sidewalk whispering
to each other, or the three Bohemian Marys in their long
plush coats and caps, comporting themselves with a dignity
that only made their eventful histories the more piquant.
If he went to the hotel to see a travelling man on business,
there was Tiny, arching her shoulders at him like a kitten.
If he went into the laundry to get his collars, there were
the four Danish girls, smiling up from their ironing-boards,
with their white throats and their pink cheeks.
|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 All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare:
In me at once: but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth;
The time is fair again.
My high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time.
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees