|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells:
gasping laugh, with his mouth open and his eyes glaring--I tell you,
sir, he fair scared me!--like this."
According to his imitation it was anything but a pleasant laugh.
"He waved his hand, with all his fingers crooked and clawing--like
that. And he said, in a sort of fierce whisper, 'LIFE!' Just that
one word, 'LIFE!'"
"Dear me," said Mr. Vincey. "Tut, tut," and "Dear me!" He could
think of nothing else to say. He was naturally very much surprised.
He turned from the room to the porter and from the porter to the
room in the gravest perplexity. Beyond his suggestion that probably
Mr. Bessel would come back presently and explain what had happened,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
It is stated in Ssu-ma Ch`ien's history that Sun Wu was
a native of the Ch`i State, and employed by Wu; and that in
the reign of Ho Lu he crushed Ch`u, entered Ying, and was a
great general. But in Tso's Commentary no Sun Wu appears at
all. It is true that Tso's Commentary need not contain
absolutely everything that other histories contain. But Tso
has not omitted to mention vulgar plebeians and hireling
ruffians such as Ying K`ao-shu,  Ts`ao Kuei, , Chu
Chih-wu and Chuan She-chu . In the case of Sun Wu, whose
fame and achievements were so brilliant, the omission is much
more glaring. Again, details are given, in their due order,
The Art of War
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:
sea, put his hands on his son, and compelled him to return home. Once
here, he did not ask him, 'What have you done?' but he said:--
"'If you do not conduct yourself properly at home with your mother and
me, and go fishing, and behave like an honest man, you and I will have
"The crazy fellow, counting on his parent's folly, made a face; on
which Pierre struck him a blow which sent Jacques to his bed for six
weeks. The poor mother nearly died of grief. One night, as she was
fast asleep beside her husband, a noise awoke her; she rose up
quickly, and was stabbed in the arm with a knife. She cried out loud,
and when Pierre Cambremer struck a light and saw his wife wounded, he
|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 Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Sir John Mandeville:
with running, and eat them.
And in another isle be folk that go upon their hands and their feet
as beasts. And they be all skinned and feathered, and they will
leap as lightly into trees, and from tree to tree, as it were
squirrels or apes.
And in another isle be folk that be both man and woman, and they
have kind; of that one and of that other. And they have but one
pap on the one side, and on that other none. And they have members
of generation of man and woman, and they use both when they list,
once that one, and another time that other. And they get children,
when they use the member of man; and they bear children, when they