|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:
less boastful, less engrossing, and because there are more of them, and for
a great many other reasons which are equally unmeaning. Phaedrus is
captivated with the beauty of the periods, and wants to make Socrates say
that nothing was or ever could be written better. Socrates does not think
much of the matter, but then he has only attended to the form, and in that
he has detected several repetitions and other marks of haste. He cannot
agree with Phaedrus in the extreme value which he sets upon this
performance, because he is afraid of doing injustice to Anacreon and Sappho
and other great writers, and is almost inclined to think that he himself,
or rather some power residing within him, could make a speech better than
that of Lysias on the same theme, and also different from his, if he may be
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
fifth, courage, is unlike the rest. Socrates proceeds to undermine the
last stronghold of the adversary, first obtaining from him the admission
that all virtue is in the highest degree good:--
The courageous are the confident; and the confident are those who know
their business or profession: those who have no such knowledge and are
still confident are madmen. This is admitted. Then, says Socrates,
courage is knowledge--an inference which Protagoras evades by drawing a
futile distinction between the courageous and the confident in a fluent
Socrates renews the attack from another side: he would like to know
whether pleasure is not the only good, and pain the only evil? Protagoras
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
into the anteroom. "I can't remain any longer in Petersburg. Tell me
what news I may take back to my poor boy."
Although Prince Vasili listened reluctantly and not very politely to
the elderly lady, even betraying some impatience, she gave him an
ingratiating and appealing smile, and took his hand that he might
not go away.
"What would it cost you to say a word to the Emperor, and then he
would be transferred to the Guards at once?" said she.
"Believe me, Princess, I am ready to do all I can," answered
Prince Vasili, "but it is difficult for me to ask the Emperor. I
should advise you to appeal to Rumyantsev through Prince Golitsyn.
War and Peace
|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 Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
"Yes," she replied. "They have told me, but it makes
no difference. You have given me the right to say it,
Bulan, and I do say it now again, before them all--
I love you, and that is all there is that makes
A look of happiness lighted his face momentarily, only
to fade as quickly as it had come.
"No, Virginia," he said, sadly, "it would not be right.
It would be wicked. I am not a human being. I am only
a soulless monster. You cannot mate with such as I.
You must go away with your father. Soon you will forget me."
The Monster Men