|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:
Wagner was very far from having attained equal mastery at
thirty-five: indeed he himself has told us that not until he had
passed the age at which Mozart died did he compose with that
complete spontaneity of musical expression which can only be
attained by winning entire freedom from all preoccupation with
the difficulties of technical processes. But when that time came,
he was not only a consummate musician, like Mozart, but a
dramatic poet and a critical and philosophical essayist,
exercising a considerable influence on his century. The sign of
this consummation was his ability at last to play with his art,
and thus to add to his already famous achievements in sentimental
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
apparition that had already filled them with a nameless terror.
As on the night of September ninth the first warning came
from the sentinel standing guard over his sleeping companions.
A terror-stricken cry punctuated by the crack of a rifle brought
Bradley, Sinclair and Brady to their feet in time to see James,
with clubbed rifle, battling with a white-robed figure that
hovered on widespread wings on a level with the Englishman's head.
As they ran, shouting, forward, it was obvious to them that the
weird and terrible apparition was attempting to seize James; but
when it saw the others coming to his rescue, it desisted,
flapping rapidly upward and away, its long, ragged wings giving
Out of Time's Abyss
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Several Works by Edgar Allan Poe:
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"--
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my sour within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is and this mystery explore--
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;--
'Tis the wind and nothing more.
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
|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 Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen:
"Why should you think so!" replied he, with a sigh.
"But gaiety never was a part of MY character."
"Nor do I think it a part of Marianne's," said Elinor;
"I should hardly call her a lively girl--she is very earnest,
very eager in all she does--sometimes talks a great deal
and always with animation--but she is not often really merry."
"I believe you are right," he replied, "and yet I
have always set her down as a lively girl."
"I have frequently detected myself in such kind of mistakes,"
said Elinor, "in a total misapprehension of character in some
point or other: fancying people so much more gay or grave,
Sense and Sensibility