|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:
impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay." And yet he would
always wind up by muttering that no sister of his should ever
have accepted such a situation.
The telegram which we eventually received came late one night
just as I was thinking of turning in and Holmes was settling down
to one of those all-night chemical researches which he frequently
indulged in, when I would leave him stooping over a retort and a
test-tube at night and find him in the same position when I came
down to breakfast in the morning. He opened the yellow envelope,
and then, glancing at the message, threw it across to me.
"Just look up the trains in Bradshaw," said he, and turned back
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
at the Pavillon Planat. Emilie, greatly disturbed by her father's
warning, awaited with extreme impatience the hour at which young
Longueville was in the habit of coming, to wring some explanation from
him. She went out after dinner, and walked alone across the shrubbery
towards an arbor fit for lovers, where she knew that the eager youth
would seek her; and as she hastened thither she considered of the best
way to discover so important a matter without compromising herself--a
rather difficult thing! Hitherto no direct avowal had sanctioned the
feelings which bound her to this stranger. Like Maximilien, she had
secretly enjoyed the sweetness of first love; but both were equally
proud, and each feared to confess that love.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
THEAETETUS: Yes, he says so.
STRANGER: Whereas, we have not only proved that things which are not are,
but we have shown what form of being not-being is; for we have shown that
the nature of the other is, and is distributed over all things in their
relations to one another, and whatever part of the other is contrasted with
being, this is precisely what we have ventured to call not-being.
THEAETETUS: And surely, Stranger, we were quite right.
STRANGER: Let not any one say, then, that while affirming the opposition
of not-being to being, we still assert the being of not-being; for as to
whether there is an opposite of being, to that enquiry we have long said
|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 Kenilworth by Walter Scott:
communicating his tidings. The Countess's anxious eye at once
caught the alarm, as she exclaimed, "You bring news from my lord,
Master Varney--Gracious Heaven! is he ill?"
"No, madam, thank Heaven!" said Varney. "Compose yourself, and
permit me to take breath ere I communicate my tidings."
"No breath, sir," replied the lady impatiently; "I know your
theatrical arts. Since your breath hath sufficed to bring you
hither, it may suffice to tell your tale--at least briefly, and
in the gross."
"Madam," answered Varney, "we are not alone, and my lord's
message was for your ear only."