|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Land of Footprints by Stewart Edward White:
evil-looking savages. To them we paid not the slightest
attention, but went about our usual business as though they did
not exist. At the end of an hour they of their own initiative
greeted us. We did not hear them. Half an hour later they
disappeared, to return after an interval, followed by a string of
young men bearing firewood. Evidently our bearing had impressed
them, as we had intended. We then unbent far enough to recognize
them, carried on a formal conversation for a few moments, gave
them adequate presents and dismissed them. Then we ordered the
askaris to clear camp and to keep it clear. No women had
appeared. Even the gifts of firewood had been carried by men, a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ebb-Tide by Stevenson & Osbourne:
divers' helmets, and seemed to swell and glow; and the next
moment the life had gone from him. 'I beg your pardon,' said
he; 'I see you don't believe in God?'
'Not in your sense, I am afraid,' said Herrick.
'I never argue with young atheists or habitual drunkards,'
said Attwater flippantly. 'Let us go across the island to the
It was but a little way, the greatest width of that island scarce
exceeding a furlong, and they walked gently. Herrick was like
one in a dream. He had come there with a mind divided; come
prepared to study that ambiguous and sneering mask, drag out
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare:
Youth is full of pleasance, age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare;
Youth is full of sport, age's breath is short;
Youth is nimble, age is lame;
Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild, and age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee; youth, I do adore thee;
O, my love, my love is young!
Age, I do defy thee: O, sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay'st too long.
|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 Symposium by Plato:
Athenaeus; Lysias contra Simonem; Aesch. c. Timarchum.)
The character of Alcibiades in the Symposium is hardly less remarkable than
that of Socrates, and agrees with the picture given of him in the first of
the two Dialogues which are called by his name, and also with the slight
sketch of him in the Protagoras. He is the impersonation of lawlessness--
'the lion's whelp, who ought not to be reared in the city,' yet not without
a certain generosity which gained the hearts of men,--strangely fascinated
by Socrates, and possessed of a genius which might have been either the
destruction or salvation of Athens. The dramatic interest of the character
is heightened by the recollection of his after history. He seems to have
been present to the mind of Plato in the description of the democratic man