|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"Well, it IS all I have to tell you," said he. "I don't know - I
wish I did."
"And so you turn your back and leave me to myself! Is that the
position?" says I.
"If you like to put it nasty," says he. "I don't put it so. I say
merely, 'I'm going to keep clear of you; or, if I don't, I'll get
in danger for myself.' "
"Well," says I, "you're a nice kind of a white man!"
"O, I understand; you're riled," said he. "I would be myself. I
can make excuses."
"All right," I said, "go and make excuses somewhere else. Here's
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:
YOUNG SOCRATES: I do not understand what you mean.
STRANGER: The meaning is, that the opinion about the honourable and the
just and good and their opposites, which is true and confirmed by reason,
is a divine principle, and when implanted in the soul, is implanted, as I
maintain, in a nature of heavenly birth.
YOUNG SOCRATES: Yes; what else should it be?
STRANGER: Only the Statesman and the good legislator, having the
inspiration of the royal muse, can implant this opinion, and he, only in
the rightly educated, whom we were just now describing.
YOUNG SOCRATES: Likely enough.
STRANGER: But him who cannot, we will not designate by any of the names
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Legend of Montrose by Walter Scott:
command with corresponding operations and manoeuvres, the neglect
of any one of which was sure to throw the whole into confusion.
War therefore, as practised among most nations of Europe, had
assumed much more than formerly the character of a profession or
mystery, to which previous practice and experience were
indispensable requisites. Such was the natural consequence of
standing armies, which had almost everywhere, and particularly in
the long German wars, superseded what may be called the natural
discipline of the feudal militia.
The Scottish Lowland militia, therefore, laboured under a double
disadvantage when opposed to Highlanders. They were divested of
|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 Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
taking a wife from a caste inferior to his own, as a Stanley
would think of mating with a Cobden. I enjoyed the surprise I
should give; I enjoyed the triumph of my practice over his
theory; and leaning over the table, and uttering the words slowly
but with repressed glee, I said concisely--
"She is a lace-mender."
Hunsden examined me. He did not SAY he was surprised, but
surprised he was; he had his own notions of good breeding. I saw
he suspected I was going to take some very rash step; but
repressing declamation or remonstrance, he only answered--
"Well, you are the best; judge of your own affairs. A