|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Republic by Plato:
generation grandfathers and grandmothers. All who were begotten at the
time when their fathers and mothers came together will be called their
brothers and sisters, and these, as I was saying, will be forbidden to
inter-marry. This, however, is not to be understood as an absolute
prohibition of the marriage of brothers and sisters; if the lot favours
them, and they receive the sanction of the Pythian oracle, the law will
Quite right, he replied.
Such is the scheme, Glaucon, according to which the guardians of our State
are to have their wives and families in common. And now you would have the
argument show that this community is consistent with the rest of our
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Virginian by Owen Wister:
strewn there by the wind and to be waiting till the wind should
come again and blow them away. Yet serene above their foulness
swam a pure and quiet light, such as the East never sees; they
might be bathing in the air of creation's first morning. Beneath
sun and stars their days and nights were immaculate and
Medicine Bow was my first, and I took its dimensions, twenty-nine
buildings in all,--one coal shute, one water tank, the station,
one store, two eating-houses, one billiard hall, two tool-houses,
one feed stable, and twelve others that for one reason and
another I shall not name Yet this wretched husk of squalor spent
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Under the Andes by Rex Stout:
from another table on which it had been placed we understood why
the steward had found it necessary to bring four assistants along
There was a king's ransom on that table, in sober truth, for
there could be no doubt but that this was part of the gold which
had been carried from Huanuco when it had been demanded by Pizarro
as payment for the life of Atahualpa.
But better even than the service was that which it contained.
It may not have been such as would enhance the reputation of a
French chef, but to us then it seemed that the culinary art
could go no farther.
|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 Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:
"Are you aware, monsieur," resumed the marquise, turning to Eugene,
"that what you have just said is a great impertinence?"
"If I did not know the strictness of your principles," he answered,
naively, "I should think that you wished either to give me ideas which
I deny myself, or else to tear a secret from me. But perhaps you are
only amusing yourself with me."
The marquise smiled. That smile annoyed Eugene.
"Madame," he said, "can you still believe in an offence I have not
committed? I earnestly hope that chance may not enable you to discover
the name of the person who ought to have read that letter."