|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:
ION: I am sure that I should know what a general ought to say.
SOCRATES: Why, yes, Ion, because you may possibly have a knowledge of the
art of the general as well as of the rhapsode; and you may also have a
knowledge of horsemanship as well as of the lyre: and then you would know
when horses were well or ill managed. But suppose I were to ask you: By
the help of which art, Ion, do you know whether horses are well managed, by
your skill as a horseman or as a performer on the lyre--what would you
ION: I should reply, by my skill as a horseman.
SOCRATES: And if you judged of performers on the lyre, you would admit
that you judged of them as a performer on the lyre, and not as a horseman?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells:
brute, you know, but being the Only Real Friend, the recipient of the
confidences of one of these egotistical weaklings, ghost or body, is
beyond my physical endurance. I got up briskly. 'Don't you brood on
these things too much,' I said. 'The thing you've got to do is to get
out of this get out of this--sharp. You pull yourself together and
TRY.' 'I can't,' he said. 'You try,' I said, and try he did."
"Try!" said Sanderson. "HOW?"
"Passes," said Clayton.
"Complicated series of gestures and passes with the hands. That's
how he had come in and that's how he had to get out again. Lord!
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
that it was comparatively flat, for the wind passed completely over them,
without being driven back as it was when it came in contact with the cliff.
At four o'clock in the morning, they reckoned that they had cleared about
five miles. The clouds were slightly raised, and the wind, though less
damp, was very sharp and cold. Insufficiently protected by their clothing,
Pencroft, Herbert and Spilett suffered cruelly, but not a complaint escaped
their lips. They were determined to follow Top, wherever the intelligent
animal wished to lead them.
Towards five o'clock day began to break. At the zenith, where the fog was
less thick, gray shades bordered the clouds; under an opaque belt, a
luminous line clearly traced the horizon. The crests of the billows were
The Mysterious Island
|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 Glasses by Henry James:
Then and then only she'll be safe. How will any one ever look at
her if she makes herself a fright? How could she ever have got
engaged if she had made herself a fright from the first? It's no
use to insist that with her beauty she can never BE a fright. She
said to me this morning, poor girl, the most characteristic, the
most harrowing things. 'My face is all I have--and SUCH a face! I
knew from the first I could do anything with it. But I needed it
all--I need it still, every exquisite inch of it. It isn't as if I
had a figure or anything else. Oh if God had only given me a
figure too, I don't say! Yes, with a figure, a really good one,
like Fanny Floyd-Taylor's, who's hideous, I'd have risked plain