|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
consideration is sure to arise, which is--whether the likeness in any
degree falls short or not of that which is recollected?
Very true, he said.
And shall we proceed a step further, and affirm that there is such a thing
as equality, not of one piece of wood or stone with another, but that, over
and above this, there is absolute equality? Shall we say so?
Say so, yes, replied Simmias, and swear to it, with all the confidence in
And do we know the nature of this absolute essence?
To be sure, he said.
And whence did we obtain our knowledge? Did we not see equalities of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells:
believed that the Bladesover system was a little
working-model--and not so very little either--of the whole world.
Let me try and give you the effect of it.
Bladesover lies up on the Kentish Downs, eight miles perhaps from
Ashborough; and its old pavilion, a little wooden parody of the
temple of Vesta at Tibur, upon the hill crest behind the house,
commands in theory at least a view of either sea, of the Channel
southward and the Thames to the northeast. The park is the
second largest in Kent, finely wooded with well-placed beeches,
many elms and some sweet chestnuts, abounding in little valleys
and hollows of bracken, with springs and a stream and three fine
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad:
of abstraction could have equalled my deep de-
tachment from the forms and colours of this world.
It was, as it were, final.
And yet, suddenly, I recognized Hamilton. I
recognized him without effort, without a shock,
without a start. There he was, strolling toward
the Harbour Office with his stiff, arrogant dignity.
His red face made him noticeable at a distance. It
flamed, over there, on the shady side of the street.
He had perceived me, too. Something (uncon-
scious exuberance of spirits perhaps) moved me to
The Shadow Line
|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 Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:
Now, dream though it was, he did not neglect the practical side
"You realize," he told M. Binet, "that I have it in my power to
make your fortune for you.
He and Binet were sitting alone together in the parlour of the inn
at Pipriac, drinking a very excellent bottle of Volnay. It was on
the night after the fourth and last performance there of "Les
Feurberies." The business in Pipriac had been as excellent as in
Maure and Guichen. You will have gathered this from the fact that
they drank Volnay.
"I will concede it, my dear Scaramouche, so that I may hear the