|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:
with my secret double that I did not even mention
the fact in those scanty, fearful whispers we exchanged.
I suppose he had made some slight noise of some kind or other.
It would have been miraculous if he hadn't at one time or another.
And yet, haggard as he appeared, he looked always perfectly
self-controlled, more than calm--almost invulnerable.
On my suggestion he remained almost entirely in
the bathroom, which, upon the whole, was the safest place.
There could be really no shadow of an excuse for anyone ever
wanting to go in there, once the steward had done with it.
It was a very tiny place. Sometimes he reclined on
The Secret Sharer
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Whirligigs by O. Henry:
up the argument. "I'll fix you," says the kid to Bill.
"No man ever yet struck the Red Chief but what he got
paid for it. You better beware!"
After breakfast the kid takes a piece of leather with
strings wrapped around it out of his pocket and goes out-
side the cave unwinding it.
"What's he up to now?" says Bill, anxiously. "You
don't think he'll run away, do you, Sam?"
"No fear of it," says I. "He don't seem to be much of
a home body. But we've got to fix up some plan about the
ransom. There don't seem to be much excitement around
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Intentions by Oscar Wilde:
attending race-meetings, wear the most horsey clothes, and talk
about nothing but betting. She abandoned religion for mesmerism,
mesmerism for politics, and politics for the melodramatic
excitements of philanthropy. In fact, she was a kind of Proteus,
and as much a failure in all her transformations as was that
wondrous sea-god when Odysseus laid hold of him. One day a serial
began in one of the French magazines. At that time I used to read
serial stories, and I well remember the shock of surprise I felt
when I came to the description of the heroine. She was so like my
friend that I brought her the magazine, and she recognised herself
in it immediately, and seemed fascinated by the resemblance. I
|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 United States Constitution:
over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may,
by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress,
become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to
exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent
of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be,
for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dockyards,
and other needful Buildings;--And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying
into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested
by this Constitution in the Government of the United States,
or in any Department or Officer thereof.
The United States Constitution