|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
particles and pronouns, as they are of most frequent occurrence, are also
the most troublesome. Strictly speaking, except a few of the commonest of
them, 'and,' 'the,' etc., they ought not to occur twice in the same
sentence. But the Greek has no such precise rules; and hence any literal
translation of a Greek author is full of tautology. The tendency of modern
languages is to become more correct as well as more perspicuous than
ancient. And, therefore, while the English translator is limited in the
power of expressing relation or connexion, by the law of his own language
increased precision and also increased clearness are required of him. The
familiar use of logic, and the progress of science, have in these two
respects raised the standard. But modern languages, while they have become
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Emma McChesney & Co. by Edna Ferber:
He tried not to strut as he crossed back to his desk, climbed his
stool, adjusted his eye-shade, and, with a last throaty chuckle,
plunged into his books again.
But his words already were working their wonders. The office,
after the first shock, was flooded with a new atmosphere--a
subtle, pervasive air of hushed happiness, of tender solicitude.
It went about like a mother who has found her child asleep at
play, and who steals away atiptoe, finger on lip, lips smiling
The delicate antennae of Emma McChesney's mind sensed the change.
Perhaps she read something in the glowing eyes of her sister-in-
Emma McChesney & Co.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw:
immediately turns away, out of patience with herself.]
MRS WARREN. There! I shouldnt have done that. I a m wicked.
Never you mind, my dear: it's only a motherly kiss. Go and make
love to Vivie.
FRANK. So I have.
MRS WARREN [turning on him with a sharp note of alarm in her
FRANK. Vivie and I are ever such chums.
MRS WARREN. What do you mean? Now see here: I wont have any
young scamp tampering with my little girl. Do you hear? I wont
|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 Yates Pride by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
you one, although I do not feel that I have done anything wrong.
Still, I cannot allow you to remain deceived."
"Well, what is it, dear?"
Eudora looked at him. "You remember that afternoon when you met
me with the baby-carriage?"
"Well, I should think so. My memory has not failed me in three
"You thought I had a baby in that carriage."
"Of course I did."
"There wasn't a baby in the carriage."
"Well, what on earth was it, then? A cat?"