|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Coxon Fund by Henry James:
infallible hand for frauds. All their geese are swans. They were
born to be duped, they like it, they cry for it, they don't know
anything from anything, and they disgust one--luckily perhaps!--
with Christian charity." His vehemence was doubtless an accident,
but it might have been a strange foreknowledge. I forget what
protest I dropped; it was at any rate something that led him to go
on after a moment: "I only ask one thing--it's perfectly simple.
Is a man, in a given case, a real gentleman?"
"A real gentleman, my dear fellow--that's so soon said!"
"Not so soon when he isn't! If they've got hold of one this time
he must be a great rascal!"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:
"That that spirit with the Russian name has put his
spell upon the well."
"God's wownds, then are we ruined!"
"But not certainly? Ye mean, not certainly?"
"That is it."
"Wherefore, ye also mean that when he saith none
can break the spell --"
"Yes, when he says that, he says what isn't neces-
sarily true. There are conditions under which an effort
to break it may have some chance -- that is, some
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Seraphita by Honore de Balzac:
inconsistent and impotent? inconsistent, because He ought to have seen
the result before the attempt,--moreover why should He delay to
destroy that which He is to destroy?--impotent, for how else could He
have created an imperfect man?
"If an imperfect creation contradicts the faculties which man
attributes to God we are forced back upon the question, Is creation
perfect? The idea is in harmony with that of a God supremely
intelligent who could make no mistakes; but then, what means the
degradation of His work, and its regeneration? Moreover, a perfect
world is, necessarily, indestructible; its forms would not perish, it
could neither advance nor recede, it would revolve in the everlasting
|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 Myths and Myth-Makers by John Fiske:
Cox's "Mythology of the Aryan Nations," and "Tales of Ancient
Greece," the reader will find the entire contents of the Iliad
and Odyssey thus minutely illustrated by comparison with the
Veda, the Edda, and the Lay of the Nibelungs.
Ancient as the Homeric poems undoubtedly are, they are modern
in comparison with the tale of Achilleus and Helena, as here
unfolded. The date of the entrance of the Greeks into Europe
will perhaps never be determined; but I do not see how any
competent scholar can well place it at less than eight hundred
or a thousand years before the time of Homer. Between the two
epochs the Greek, Latin, Umbrian, and Keltic lauguages had
Myths and Myth-Makers