|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad:
place. The inquiry had exonerated everybody from all
blame. The loss of the ship was put down to an un-
usual set of the current. Indeed, it could not have been
anything else: there was no other way to account for
the ship being set seven miles to the eastward of her
position during the middle watch.
"A piece of bad luck for me, sir."
Sterne passed his tongue on his lips, and glanced aside.
"I lost the advantage of being employed by you, sir.
I can never be sorry enough. But here it is: one man's
poison, another man's meat. This could not have been
End of the Tether
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bucolics by Virgil:
And the Caucasian birds, and told withal
Nigh to what fountain by his comrades left
The mariners cried on Hylas till the shore
"Then Re-echoed "Hylas, Hylas! soothed
Pasiphae with the love of her white bull-
Happy if cattle-kind had never been!-
O ill-starred maid, what frenzy caught thy soul
The daughters too of Proetus filled the fields
With their feigned lowings, yet no one of them
Of such unhallowed union e'er was fain
As with a beast to mate, though many a time
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maitre Cornelius by Honore de Balzac:
the youth's fidelity. After a very brief and summary examination by
the grand provost, the unfortunate secretary was hanged. After that no
one dared for a long time to learn the arts of banking and exchange
from Maitre Cornelius.
In course of time, however, two young men of the town, Touraineans,--
men of honor, and eager to make their fortunes,--took service with the
silversmith. Robberies coincided with the admission of the two young
men into the house. The circumstances of these crimes, the manner in
which they were perpetrated, showed plainly that the robbers had
secret communication with its inmates. Become by this time more than
ever suspicious and vindictive, the old Fleming laid the matter before
|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 Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:
men who were to suffer death on Thursday were confined. And not
only were these four who had so short a time to live, the first to
whom the dread of being burnt occurred, but they were, throughout,
the most importunate of all: for they could be plainly heard,
notwithstanding the great thickness of the walls, crying that the
wind set that way, and that the flames would shortly reach them;
and calling to the officers of the jail to come and quench the
fire from a cistern which was in their yard, and full of water.
Judging from what the crowd outside the walls could hear from time
to time, these four doomed wretches never ceased to call for help;
and that with as much distraction, and in as great a frenzy of