|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Philosophy 4 by Owen Wister:
twice as alive as they had looked at breakfast. There they sat, while
their memories gripped the summarized list of facts essential, facts to
be known accurately; the simple, solid, raw facts, which, should they
happen to come on the examination paper, no skill could evade nor any
imagination supply. But this study was no longer dry and dreadful to
them: they had turned it to a sporting event. "What about Heracleitos?"
Billy as catechist would put at Bertie. "Eternal flux," Bertie would
correctly snap back at Billy. Or, if he got it mixed up, and replied,
"Everything is water," which was the doctrine of another Greek, then
Billy would credit himself with twenty-five cents on a piece of paper.
Each ran a memorandum of this kind; and you can readily see how spirited
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:
disorder of his brain.
"And, pray," said he, looking at Carabine, "what object have you in
torturing my heart, for you must have paid very dear for the privilege
of having the note in your possession long enough to get it
"Foolish man!" said Carabine, at a nod from Madame Nourrisson, "don't
you see that poor child Cydalise--a girl of sixteen, who has been
pining for you these three months, till she has lost her appetite for
food or drink, and who is heart-broken because you have never even
glanced at her?"
Cydalise put her handkerchief to her eyes with an appearance of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:
views should descend at last (if indeed he did descend) to be a
quack and a conjuror--and die under the imputation that
Bombastes kept a devil's bird
Hid in the pommel of his sword,
and have, indeed, his very name, Bombast, used to this day as a
synonym of loud, violent, and empty talk. To understand it at all,
we must go back and think a little over these same occult sciences
which were believed in by thousands during the fifteenth and
The reverence for classic antiquity, you must understand, which
sprang up at the renaissance in the fifteenth century, was as
|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 Heritage of the Desert by Zane Grey:
August nodded gloomily. "I haven't the gift of revelation, but I've come
to believe Martin Cole. Holderness is building an outpost for his riders
close to Seeping Springs. He has no water. If he tries to pipe my
wafer--" The pause was not a threat; it implied the Mormon's doubt of
himself. "Then Dene is on the march this way. He's driven some of
Marshall's cattle from the range next to mine. Dene got away with about
a hundred head. The barefaced robber sold them in Lund to a buying
company from Salt Lake."
"Is he openly an outlaw, a rustler?" inquired Hare.
"Everybody knows it, and he's finding White Sage and vicinity warmer than
The Heritage of the Desert