|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Whirligigs by O. Henry:
make big bad boys remain after school; lads with ladders
steal lightly over lawns where Juliet waits in her trellissed
window with her telescope packed; young couples out
for a walk come home married; old chaps put on white
spats and promenade near the Normal School; even
married men, grown unwontedly tender and sentimental,
whack their spouses on the back and growl: "How goes
it, old girl:"
This May, who is no goddess, but Circe, masquerading
at the dance given in honour of the fair débutante, Sum-
mer, puts the kibosh on us all.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
wisdom, was aware that if he could overthrow this saying, then, as if he
had won a victory over some famous athlete, he would carry off the palm
among his contemporaries. And if I am not mistaken, he composed the entire
poem with the secret intention of damaging Pittacus and his saying.
Let us all unite in examining his words, and see whether I am speaking the
truth. Simonides must have been a lunatic, if, in the very first words of
the poem, wanting to say only that to become good is hard, he inserted
(Greek) 'on the one hand' ('on the one hand to become good is hard'); there
would be no reason for the introduction of (Greek), unless you suppose him
to speak with a hostile reference to the words of Pittacus. Pittacus is
saying 'Hard is it to be good,' and he, in refutation of this thesis,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Red Seal by Natalie Sumner Lincoln:
Force were given with brevity and a rich Irish brogue.
"Where were you on Tuesday morning at about five o'clock?" asked
Penfield, first consulting some memoranda on his desk.
"On my way home," explained O'Ryan. My relief had just come."
"Does your beat take in the McIntyre residence? "
"It does, sir."
"Did you observe any one loitering in the vicinity of the residence
prior to five o'clock, Tuesday morning?"
"No, sir. It was only when the lady called to me that I was
attracted to the house."
"Did she state what was the matter?"
The Red Seal
|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 Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
"I am hastening to Anastasyevka. My daughter's worse again, and
they say that there is a new doctor at Anastasyevka."
They dragged the carriage on to the barge and floated back. The
man whom Semyon addressed as Vassily Sergeyitch stood all the
time motionless, tightly compressing his thick lips and staring
off into space; when his coachman asked permission to smoke in
his presence he made no answer, as though he had not heard.
Semyon, lying with his stomach on the tiller, looked mockingly at
him and said:
"Even in Siberia people can live -- can li-ive!"
There was a triumphant expression on Canny's face, as though he
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories