|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:
satirise his neighbour he has full leave to do so. And this because
they are well aware that, as a general rule, this person
caricatured does not belong to the People, or the masses. He is
more likely to be some wealthy or well-born person, or man of means
and influence. In fact, but few poor people and of the popular stamp
incur the comic lash, or if they do they have brought it on themselves
by excessive love of meddling or some covetous self-seeking at the
expense of the People, so that no particular annoyance is felt at
seeing such folk satirised.
 See Grote, "H. G." viii. 446, especially p. 449, "growth and
development of comedy at Athens"; Curtius, "H. G." iii. pp. 242,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tom Grogan by F. Hopkinson Smith:
when McGaw, in a burst of confidence, told Rowan of his present
From Rowan's the complaining trio adjourned to O'Leary's barroom.
Crimmins and McGaw entered first. Quigg arrived later. He closed
one eye meaningly as he entered, and O'Leary handed a brass key to
him over the bar with the remark, "Stamp on the floor three
toimes, Dinny, an' I'll send yez up what ye want to drink." Then
Crimmins opened a door concealed by a wooden screen, and the three
disappeared upstairs. Crimmins reappeared within an hour, and
hurried out the front door. In a few moments he returned with
Justice Rowan, who had adjourned court. Immediately after the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:
depicted in colored prints that it is too common to describe here),--
well, this wife of the innkeeper kept the two friends alternately
patient and impatient with remarkable ability.
Little by little the noise decreased, the various travellers retired
to their rooms, the clouds of smoke dispersed. When places were set
for the two young men, and the classic carp of the Rhine appeared upon
the table, eleven o'clock was striking and the room was empty. The
silence of night enabled the young surgeons to hear vaguely the noise
their horses made in eating their provender, and the murmur of the
waters of the Rhine, together with those indefinable sounds which
always enliven an inn when filled with persons preparing to go to bed.
|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 A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
inimitable sketch of Gigonnet, his fireplace without fire, his shabby
wall-paper, his stairway, his asthmatic bell, his aged straw mattress,
his den without warmth, like his eye. He made them laugh about this
new uncle; they neither troubled themselves about du Tillet and his
pretended want of money, nor about an old usurer so ready to disburse.
What was there to worry about in that?
"He has only asked you fifteen per cent," said Blondet; "you ought to
be grateful to him. At twenty-five per cent you don't bow to those old
fellows. This is money-lending; usury doesn't begin till fifty per
cent; and then you despise the usurer."
"Despise him!" cried Florine; "if any of your friends lent you money