|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lysis by Plato:
what you say is true, and that, if we had been right, we should never have
gone so far wrong; let us proceed no further in this direction (for the
road seems to be getting troublesome), but take the other path into which
we turned, and see what the poets have to say; for they are to us in a
manner the fathers and authors of wisdom, and they speak of friends in no
light or trivial manner, but God himself, as they say, makes them and draws
them to one another; and this they express, if I am not mistaken, in the
'God is ever drawing like towards like, and making them acquainted.'
I dare say that you have heard those words.
Yes, he said; I have.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
for the means of fulfilling his agreement, the ferryman lifted a
lantern, by the aid of which, and the newly risen moon, he took a
very accurate survey of the stranger's figure. He was a youth of
barely eighteen years, evidently country-bred, and now, as it
should seem, upon his first visit to town. He was clad in a
coarse gray coat, well worn, but in excellent repair; his under
garments were durably constructed of leather, and fitted tight to
a pair of serviceable and well-shaped limbs; his stockings of
blue yarn were the incontrovertible work of a mother or a sister;
and on his head was a three-cornered hat, which in its better
days had perhaps sheltered the graver brow of the lad's father.
The Snow Image
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:
household, commented on in a score of ways, stripped bare by the
cleverest tongues in the community, gave, of course, a cruel interest
to the execution of the criminal, whose appeal was rejected after two
months' delay by the upper court. What would probably be his demeanor
in his last moments? Would he speak out? Would he contradict himself?
How would the bets be decided? Who would go to see him executed, and
who would not go, and how could it be done? The position of the
localities, which in Limoges spares a criminal the anguish of a long
distance to the scaffold, lessens the number of spectators. The law
courts which adjoin the prison stand at the corner of the rue du
Palais and the rue du Pont-Herisson. The rue du Palais is continued in
|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 Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
A sudden brisk shout, "Mainsail haul!" broke the spell,
and in the noisy cries and rush overhead of the men running away
with the main brace we two, down in my cabin, came together
in our usual position by the bed place.
He did not wait for my question. "I heard him fumbling here and just
managed to squat myself down in the bath," he whispered to me.
"The fellow only opened the door and put his arm in to hang the coat up.
All the same--"
"I never thought of that," I whispered back, even more appalled
than before at the closeness of the shave, and marveling at
that something unyielding in his character which was carrying
The Secret Sharer