|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lesser Hippias by Plato:
say that Odysseus is wily, you clearly mean that he is false?
HIPPIAS: Exactly so, Socrates; it is the character of Odysseus, as he is
represented by Homer in many passages both of the Iliad and Odyssey.
SOCRATES: And Homer must be presumed to have meant that the true man is
not the same as the false?
HIPPIAS: Of course, Socrates.
SOCRATES: And is that your own opinion, Hippias?
HIPPIAS: Certainly; how can I have any other?
SOCRATES: Well, then, as there is no possibility of asking Homer what he
meant in these verses of his, let us leave him; but as you show a
willingness to take up his cause, and your opinion agrees with what you
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Ballads by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Till of a sudden, turning, he gripped an aito hard,
A youth that stood with his omare, (8) one of the daily guard,
And spat in his ear a command, and pointed and uttered a name,
And hid in the shade of the house his impotent anger and shame.
Now Tamatea the fool was far on the homeward way,
The rising night in his face, behind him the dying day.
Rahero saw him go by, and the heart of Rahero was glad,
Devising shame to the king and nowise harm to the lad;
And all that dwelt by the way saw and saluted him well,
For he had the face of a friend and the news of the town to tell;
And pleased with the notice of folk, and pleased that his journey was done,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift:
master, "that in the country whence I came, those of my kind
always covered their bodies with the hairs of certain animals
prepared by art, as well for decency as to avoid the inclemencies
of air, both hot and cold; of which, as to my own person, I would
give him immediate conviction, if he pleased to command me: only
desiring his excuse, if I did not expose those parts that nature
taught us to conceal." He said, "my discourse was all very
strange, but especially the last part; for he could not
understand, why nature should teach us to conceal what nature had
given; that neither himself nor family were ashamed of any parts
of their bodies; but, however, I might do as I pleased."
|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 Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
hear of it, and said, "I shall certainly have to make you a new one,
and you may depend upon it that I shall do my best. It may even be, as
the fashion goes, that the collar can be fastened by silver hooks
under a flap."
Then Akakiy Akakievitch saw that it was impossible to get along
without a new cloak, and his spirit sank utterly. How, in fact, was it
to be done? Where was the money to come from? He might, to be sure,
depend, in part, upon his present at Christmas; but that money had
long been allotted beforehand. He must have some new trousers, and pay
a debt of long standing to the shoemaker for putting new tops to his
old boots, and he must order three shirts from the seamstress, and a
Taras Bulba and Other Tales