|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
"Davidson, relieved, but still very anxious, turned towards the
river-side. He had not made two steps in that direction when
another shriek burst out behind him, again close to the house.
"He thinks that the Frenchman had lost sight of the poor woman
right enough. Then came that period of silence. But the horrible
ruffian had not given up his murderous purpose. He reasoned that
she would try to steal back to her child, and went to lie in wait
for her near the house.
"It must have been something like that. As she entered the light
falling about the house-ladder, he had rushed at her too soon,
Within the Tides
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Augsburg Confession by Philip Melanchthon:
instituted and left free to men) has never produced any good
results, but has brought on many great and evil vices and much
Seeing also that, as the world is aging, man's nature is
gradually growing weaker, it is well to guard that no more
vices steal into Germany.
Furthermore, God ordained marriage to be a help against human
infirmity. The Canons themselves say that the old rigor ought
now and then, in the latter times, to be relaxed because of
the weakness of men; which it is to be wished were done also
in this matter. And it is to be expected that the churches
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Critias by Plato:
in places where fountains once existed; and this proves the truth of what I
Such was the natural state of the country, which was cultivated, as we may
well believe, by true husbandmen, who made husbandry their business, and
were lovers of honour, and of a noble nature, and had a soil the best in
the world, and abundance of water, and in the heaven above an excellently
attempered climate. Now the city in those days was arranged on this wise.
In the first place the Acropolis was not as now. For the fact is that a
single night of excessive rain washed away the earth and laid bare the
rock; at the same time there were earthquakes, and then occurred the
extraordinary inundation, which was the third before the great destruction
|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 Talisman by Walter Scott:
influence on the harassed mind of the Marquis, and
notwithstanding his attempts to seem gay, his gloom communicated
itself to the Templar.
"This craven," he thought, "will lose the day in pure faintness
and cowardice of heart, which he calls tender conscience. I,
whom visions and auguries shake not---who am firm in my purpose
as the living rock--I should have fought the combat myself.
Would to God the Scot may strike him dead on the spot; it were
next best to his winning the victory. But come what will, he
must have no other confessor than myself--our sins are too much
in common, and he might confess my share with his own."