|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:
know the good when the same topic is being discussed.
SOCRATES: Is not the same person skilful in both?
SOCRATES: And you say that Homer and the other poets, such as Hesiod and
Archilochus, speak of the same things, although not in the same way; but
the one speaks well and the other not so well?
ION: Yes; and I am right in saying so.
SOCRATES: And if you knew the good speaker, you would also know the
inferior speakers to be inferior?
ION: That is true.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
would have preferred any hardship rather than walk.
She was, as I have said, a very busy person, continually occupied
about material comforts, and ready to drop asleep over a novel the
instant she was disengaged. This was the less objectionable, as
she never snored or grew distempered in complexion when she slept.
On the contrary, she looked the very picture of luxurious and
appetising ease, and woke without a start to the perfect possession
of her faculties. I am afraid she was greatly an animal, but she
was a very nice animal to have about. In this way, she had little
to do with Jean-Marie; but the sympathy which had been established
between them on the first night remained unbroken; they held
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
to their own posterity. Isabelle, Clara, Rosalind, Eleanor, were
all removed by their very beauty, around which men had swarmed,
from the possibility of contributing anything but a sick heart
and a page of puzzled words to write.
Amory based his loss of faith in help from others on several
sweeping syllogisms. Granted that his generation, however bruised
and decimated from this Victorian war, were the heirs of
progress. Waving aside petty differences of conclusions which,
although they might occasionally cause the deaths of several
millions of young men, might be explained awaysupposing that
after all Bernard Shaw and Bernhardi, Bonar Law and
This Side of Paradise
|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 Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
masses to the banks of the Beresina found there, unhappily, an immense
number of carriages, caissons, and articles of all kinds which the
army had been forced to abandon when effecting its passage of the
river on the 27th and 28th of November. Heirs to such unlooked-for
riches, the unfortunate men, stupid with cold, took up their abode in
the deserted bivouacs, broke up the material which they found there to
build themselves cabins, made fuel of everything that came to hand,
cut up the frozen carcasses of the horses for food, tore the cloth and
the curtains from the carriages for coverlets, and went to sleep,
instead of continuing their way and crossing quietly during the night
that cruel Beresina, which an incredible fatality had already made so