|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:
pronounced it a masterpiece:--
"You, whom I still dare to call my friend, will you not pity me
after all that has passed,--which you have so ill understood? My
heart disavows whatever may have wounded your feelings. If I was
fortunate enough to charm you and keep you beside me in the past,
return to me; otherwise, I shall fall into despair. Poverty has
overtaken me, and you do not know what HORRID THINGS it brings
with it. Yesterday I lived on a herring at two sous, and one sou
of bread. Is that a breakfast for the woman you loved? The
Chapuzots have left me, though they seemed so devoted. Your
desertion has caused me to see to the bottom of all human
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey:
Carley was not averse to withholding her ignorance. She watched Glenn with
surpassing curiosity and interest. First he threw a quantity of wood upon
the smoldering fire.
"I have ham and mutton of my own raising," announced Glenn, with
importance. "Which would you prefer?"
"Of your own raising. What do you mean?" queried Carley.
"My dear, you've been so steeped in the fog of the crowd that you are blind
to the homely and necessary things of living. I mean I have here meat of
both sheep and hog that I raised myself. That is to say, mutton and ham.
Which do you like?"
"Ham!" cried Carley, incredulously.
The Call of the Canyon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:
across the Andes to Mendoza: the one most commonly used,
namely, that of Aconcagua or Uspallata -- is situated some
way to the north; the other, called the Portillo, is to the
south, and nearer, but more lofty and dangerous.
March 18th. -- We set out for the Portillo pass. Leaving
Santiago we crossed the wide burnt-up plain on which that
city stands, and in the afternoon arrived at the Maypu, one
of the principal rivers in Chile. The valley, at the point
where it enters the first Cordillera, is bounded on each side
by lofty barren mountains; and although not broad, it is very
fertile. Numerous cottages were surrounded by vines, and by
The Voyage of the Beagle
|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 Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
and helpless in the depths of the conveyance, entreated: "Oh, don't
let him, Winnie. He'll get lost. Don't let him."
"Certainly not. What next! Mr Verloc will be sorry to hear of
this nonsense, Stevie, - I can tell you. He won't be happy at
The idea of Mr. Verloc's grief and unhappiness acting as usual
powerfully upon Stevie's fundamentally docile disposition, he
abandoned all resistance, and climbed up again on the box, with a
face of despair.
The cabby turned at him his enormous and inflamed countenance
truculently. "Don't you go for trying this silly game again, young
The Secret Agent