|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:
Just brake into their milky blossoming,
This murderous paramour, this unbidden guest,
Pierced and struck deep in horrid chambering,
And ploughed a bloody furrow with its dart,
And dug a long red road, and cleft with winged death her heart.
Sobbing her life out with a bitter cry
On the boy's body fell the Dryad maid,
Sobbing for incomplete virginity,
And raptures unenjoyed, and pleasures dead,
And all the pain of things unsatisfied,
And the bright drops of crimson youth crept down her throbbing
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Riverman by Stewart Edward White:
"What's up?" inquired Newmark keenly.
"It's a private matter."
Newmark said nothing, but for some time thought busily, his light
blue eyes narrowed to a slit.
"I'll have to figure on it a while," said he at last, and turned
back to his mail. All day he worked hard, with only a fifteen-
minute intermission for a lunch which was brought up from the hotel
below. At six o'clock he slammed shut the desk. He descended the
stairs with Orde, from whom he parted at their foot, and walked
precisely away, his tall, thin figure held rigid and slightly askew,
his pale eyes slitted behind his eye-glasses, the unlighted cigar in
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
oppressed me. I had so worked upon my imagination as really to
believe that about the whole mansion and domain there hung an
atmosphere peculiar to themselves and their immediate vicinity--
an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but
which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the grey wall,
and the silent tarn--a pestilent and mystic vapour, dull,
sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden-hued.
Shaking off from my spirit what must have been a dream,
I scanned more narrowly the real aspect of the building. Its
principal feature seemed to be that of an excessive antiquity.
The discoloration of ages had been great. Minute fungi
The Fall of the House of Usher
|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:
observations, the worthy German had lined his nose with a good pinch
of snuff and was now beginning his tale. It would be difficult to
reproduce it in his own language, with his frequent interruptions and
wordy digressions. Therefore, I now write it down in my own way;
leaving out the faults of the Nuremburger, and taking only what his
tale may have had of interest and poesy with the coolness of writers
who forget to put on the title pages of their books: "Translated from
THOUGHT AND ACT
Toward the end of Venemiaire, year VII., a republican period which in
the present day corresponds to October 20, 1799, two young men,