|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
close the door, and then stand quietly by the sideboard.
"Saved," I thought. "But, no! Lost! Gone! He was gone!"
I laid my knife and fork down and leaned back in my chair. My head swam.
After a while, when sufficiently recovered to speak in a steady voice,
I instructed my mate to put the ship round at eight o'clock himself.
"I won't come on deck," I went on. "I think I'll turn in, and unless
the wind shifts I don't want to be disturbed before midnight.
I feel a bit seedy."
"You did look middling bad a little while ago," the chief mate remarked
without showing any great concern.
They both went out, and I stared at the steward clearing the table.
The Secret Sharer
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:
When we arrived at the pension there was very nearly an open riot.
I ran half way up the stairs, and thanked the Baron audibly from the
He distinctly replied: "Not at all!"
It was very friendly of the Herr Oberlehrer to have sent me a bouquet that
evening, and the Frau Oberregierungsrat asked me for my pattern of a baby's
Next day the Baron was gone.
Sic transit gloria German mundi.
3. THE SISTER OF THE BARONESS.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Door in the Wall, et. al. by H. G. Wells:
darkness sweeping over everything. The hot, brutal face before me,
the face of the man who had killed me, seemed to recede. It swept
out of existence--"
"Euston!" clamoured the voices outside; "Euston!"
The carriage door opened admitting a flood of sound, and a
porter stood regarding us. The sounds of doors slamming, and the
hoof-clatter of cab-horses, and behind these things the featureless
remote roar of the London cobble-stones, came to my ears. A
truckload of lighted lamps blazed along the platform.
"A darkness, a flood of darkness that opened and spread and
blotted out all things."
|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 Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
to those noble men who stood in the water, the icy water of Beresina,
to destroy the buttresses of the bridges. One alone of those heroes
still lives--or, to speak more correctly, suffers--in a village,
The aide-de-camp started. Hardly had this generous officer gone a
hundred yards towards Studzianka than General Eble wakened a number of
his weary pontoniers, and began the work,--the charitable work of
burning the bivouacs set up about the bridge, and forcing the
sleepers, thus dislodged, to cross the river.
Meanwhile the young aide-de-camp reached, not without difficulty, the
only wooden house still left standing in Studzianka.