|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Philosophy 4 by Owen Wister:
multitudinous birds were chirping their tiny, overwhelming chorus. When
at length, across the flat suburban spaces, they again sighted Memorial
tower, small in the distance, the sun was lighting it.
Confronted by this, thoughts of hitherto banished care, and of the
morrow that was now to-day, and of Philosophy 4 coming in a very few
hours, might naturally have arisen and darkened the end of their
pleasant excursion. Not so, however. Memorial tower suggested another
line of argument. It was Billy who spoke, as his eyes first rested upon
that eminent pinnacle of Academe.
"Well, John owes me five dollars."
"Ten, you mean."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
door in human guise, ushered the three friends into a room which
served as an ante-chamber, where, in spite of the warm atmosphere
which fills the streets of Paris, they felt the icy chill of crypts
about them. A damp air came from an inner courtyard which resembled a
huge air-shaft; the light that entered was gray, and the sill of the
window was filled with pots of sickly plants. In this room, which had
a coating of some greasy, fuliginous substance, the furniture, the
chairs, the table, were all most abject. The floor tiles oozed like a
water-cooler. In short, every accessory was in keeping with the
fearful old woman of the hooked nose, ghastly face, and decent rags
who directed the "consulters" to sit down, informing them that only
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare:
My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the
flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.
Is this all your worship's reason?
Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.
May the world know them?
I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh
|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 Virginian by Owen Wister:
accept such a view, sir. There is a levity abroad in our land
which I must deplore. No matter how leniently you may try to put
it, in the end we have the spectacle of a struggle between men
where lying decides the survival of the fittest. Better, far
better, if it was to come, that they had shot honest bullets.
There are worse evils than war."
The Doctor's eye glared righteously about him. None of us, I
think, trembled; or, if we did, it was with emotions other than
fear. Mrs. Henry at once introduced the subject of trout-fishing,
and thus happily removed us from the edge of whatever sort of
precipice we seemed to have approached; for Dr. MacBride had