|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift:
Protestant religion, which is still too much limited by
priestcraft, notwithstanding all the good intentions of the
legislature, as we have lately found by a severe instance. For it
is confidently reported, that two young gentlemen of real hopes,
bright wit, and profound judgment, who, upon a thorough examination
of causes and effects, and by the mere force of natural abilities,
without the least tincture of learning, having made a discovery
that there was no God, and generously communicating their thoughts
for the good of the public, were some time ago, by an unparalleled
severity, and upon I know not what obsolete law, broke for
blasphemy. And as it has been wisely observed, if persecution once
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells:
before her on the table. "Mr. Manning," she said, "I HAVE a
confession to make."
"I wish you would use my Christian name," he said.
She attended to that, and then dismissed it as unimportant.
Something in her voice and manner conveyed an effect of unwonted
gravity to him. For the first time he seemed to wonder what it
might be that she had to confess. His smile faded.
"I don't think our engagement can go on," she plunged, and felt
exactly that loss of breath that comes with a dive into icy
"But, how," he said, sitting up astonished beyond measure, "not
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Republic by Plato:
disposed, although he has suffered from evil influences, he rests at a
middle point and becomes ambitious and a lover of honour.
And now let us set another city over against another man. The next form of
government is oligarchy, in which the rule is of the rich only; nor is it
difficult to see how such a State arises. The decline begins with the
possession of gold and silver; illegal modes of expenditure are invented;
one draws another on, and the multitude are infected; riches outweigh
virtue; lovers of money take the place of lovers of honour; misers of
politicians; and, in time, political privileges are confined by law to the
rich, who do not shrink from violence in order to effect their purposes.
Thus much of the origin,--let us next consider the evils of oligarchy.
|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 Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:
in a big river, and just let her go; it was all you had to do.
She would hold herself on a star all night, if you let her alone.
You couldn't ever feel her rudder. It wasn't any more labor to steer
her than it is to count the Republican vote in a South Carolina election.
One morning, just at daybreak, the last trip she ever made, they took
her rudder aboard to mend it; I didn't know anything about it; I backed
her out from the wood-yard and went a-weaving down the river all serene.
When I had gone about twenty-three miles, and made four horribly crooked
'Without any rudder?'
'Yes--old Capt. Tom appeared on the roof and began to find fault