|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"No matter," says he. "For all that, he should certainly hear the
I asked him if he meant about the battle? for if the captain once
knew the standard was down, he would certainly put to sea again at
"And even then!" said he; "the arms are now of no sort of utility."
"My dear man," said I, "who thinks of the arms? But, to be sure,
we must remember our friends. They will be close upon our heels,
perhaps the Prince himself, and if the ship be gone, a great number
of valuable lives may be imperilled."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
described as an alternation of opposites or figured to the mind by the
vibrations of a pendulum. Even in Aristotle and Plato, rightly understood,
we cannot trace this law of action and reaction. They are both idealists,
although to the one the idea is actual and immanent,--to the other only
potential and transcendent, as Hegel himself has pointed out (Wallace's
Hegel). The true meaning of Aristotle has been disguised from us by his
own appeal to fact and the opinions of mankind in his more popular works,
and by the use made of his writings in the Middle Ages. No book, except
the Scriptures, has been so much read, and so little understood. The Pre-
Socratic philosophies are simpler, and we may observe a progress in them;
but is there any regular succession? The ideas of Being, change, number,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Bronte Sisters:
managed pretty well, both for your friend and mine.'
Poor Milicent! But I cannot imagine she will ever be led to accept
such a suitor - one so repugnant to all her ideas of a man to be
honoured and loved.
5th. - Alas! I was mistaken. I have got a long letter from her
this morning, telling me she is already engaged, and expects to be
married before the close of the month.
'I hardly know what to say about it,' she writes, 'or what to
think. To tell you the truth, Helen, I don't like the thoughts of
it at all. If I am to be Mr. Hattersley's wife, I must try to love
him; and I do try with all my might; but I have made very little
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
|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 Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine and Mucedorus by William Shakespeare:
she would call me sweet husband, and so banished
brawling for ever. And to see the good will of the
wench! she bought with her portion a yard of land, and
by that I am now become one of the richest men in our
parish. Well, masters, what's a clock? is it now
breakfast time; you shall see what meat I have here for
[Let him sit down and pull out his vittails.]
Was ever land so fruitless as this land?
Was ever grove so graceless as this grove?