|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy:
and under the crushing recognition of his gigantic error Jude continued to
wish himself out of the world.
DURING the three or four succeeding years a quaint and singular vehicle
might have been discerned moving along the lanes and by-roads near Marygreen,
driven in a quaint and singular way.
In the course of a month or two after the receipt of the books Jude
had grown callous to the shabby trick played him by the dead languages.
In fact, his disappointment at the nature of those tongues had, after a while,
been the means of still further glorifying the erudition of Christminster.
To acquire languages, departed or living in spite of such obstinacies
Jude the Obscure
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft:
what made us pause again.
It was during that pause that we caught
- simultaneously this time - the other odor ahead. Paradoxically,
it was both a less frightful and more frightful odor - less frightful
intrinsically, but infinitely appalling in this place under the
known circumstances - unless, of course, Gedney - for the odor
was the plain and familiar one of common petrol - every-day gasoline.
Our motivation after that is something I will leave to psychologists.
We knew now that some terrible extension of the camp horrors must
have crawled into this nighted burial place of the aeons, hence
could not doubt any longer the existence of nameless conditions
At the Mountains of Madness
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
possesses a small estate in a certain department, the name of which he
has never been known to utter.
"Madame Firmiani? why, my dear fellow, she was Murat's former
mistress." This man belongs to the Contradictors,--persons who note
errata in memoirs, rectify dates, correct facts, bet a hundred to one,
and are certain about everything. You can easily detect them in some
gross blunder in the course of a single evening. They will tell you
they were in Paris at the time of Mallet's conspiracy, forgetting that
half an hour earlier they had described how they had crossed the
Beresina. Nearly all Contradictors are "chevaliers" of the Legion of
honor; they talk loudly, have retreating foreheads, and play high.
|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 Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:
Rhine a few leagues from Coblentz. At that time the French army,
commanded by Augereau, was manoeuvring before the Austrians, who then
occupied the right bank of the river. The headquarters of the
Republican division was at Coblentz, and one of the demi-brigades
belonging to Augereau's corps was stationed at Andernach.
The two travellers were Frenchmen. At sight of their uniforms, blue
mixed with white and faced with red velvet, their sabres, and above
all their hats covered with a green varnished-cloth and adorned with a
tricolor plume, even the German peasants had recognized army surgeons,
a body of men of science and merit liked, for the most part, not only
in our own army but also in the countries invaded by our troops. At