|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gambara by Honore de Balzac:
cook, who was watching him narrowly. Though a French /restaurateur/
may care little about seeing a dish scorned if he is sure of being
paid for it, it is not so with an Italian, who is not often satiated
To gain time, Andrea complimented Giardini enthusiastically, but he
leaned over to whisper in his ear, and slipping a gold piece into his
hand under the table, begged him to go out and buy a few bottles of
champagne, leaving him free to take all the credit of the treat.
When the Italian returned, every plate was cleared, and the room rang
with praises of the master-cook. The champagne soon mounted these
southern brains, and the conversation, till now subdued in the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:
who had mounted a settee, and were holding a lively discussion that
looked very like a quarrel.
"Lords and Ladies in Waiting, and various Court Officials," our guide
gruffly remarked, as he led us in. Of me the Courtiers took no notice
whatever: but Sylvie and Bruno were the subject of many inquisitive
looks, and many whispered remarks, of which I only distinctly caught
one--made by a sly-looking Dachshund to his friend "Bah wooh wahyah
hoobah Oobooh, hah bah?" ("She's not such a bad-looking Human, is she?")
Leaving the new arrivals in the centre of the Saloon, the Sentinel
advanced to a door, at the further end of it, which bore an inscription,
painted on it in Doggee, "Royal Kennel--scratch and Yell."
Sylvie and Bruno
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather:
great cunning. They would pretend to eat their oats
like the other horses, but we knew they were always
scheming to get back at the loco.
It seems that a man is meant to live only
one life in this world. When he tries to live a
second, he develops another nature. I feel as
if a second man had been grafted into me.
At first he seemed only a pleasure-loving
simpleton, of whose company I was rather ashamed,
and whom I used to hide under my coat
when I walked the Embankment, in London.
|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 War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells:
The air was full of sound, a deafening and confusing con-
flict of noises--the clangorous din of the Martians, the crash
of falling houses, the thud of trees, fences, sheds flashing into
flame, and the crackling and roaring of fire. Dense black
smoke was leaping up to mingle with the steam from the
river, and as the Heat-Ray went to and fro over Weybridge
its impact was marked by flashes of incandescent white, that
gave place at once to a smoky dance of lurid flames. The
nearer houses still stood intact, awaiting their fate, shadowy,
faint and pallid in the steam, with the fire behind them
going to and fro.
War of the Worlds