|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy:
"And you yourselves, at Kounavino, did you not lead a gay life
with the pretty girls?" asked the lawyer with a smile.
"Oh, that's another matter," said the merchant, severely.
"Good-by," he added, rising. He wrapped himself in his cloak,
lifted his cap, and, taking his bag, left the car.
Scarcely had the old man gone when a general conversation began.
"There's a little Old Testament father for you," said the clerk.
"He is a Domostroy,"* said the lady. "What savage ideas about a
woman and marriage!"
The Kreutzer Sonata
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
"Disposition en foolishness! NO sir, dat ain't it. Dat jist ain't
nothin' at all, 'longside o' what _I_ knows."
Tom stared at her, and said:
"Why, Roxy, what do you mean?"
She rose, and gloomed above him like a Fate.
"I means dis--en it's de Lord's truth. You ain't no more kin to
ole Marse Driscoll den I is! _dat's_ what I means!" and her eyes
flamed with triumph.
"Yassir, en _dat_ ain't all! You's a _nigger!_--_bawn_ a nigger and
a _slave!_--en you's a nigger en a slave dis minute; en if I opens my
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lysis by Plato:
of the good, and of him only; but that the evil never attains to any real
friendship, either with good or evil. Do you agree?
He nodded assent.
Then now we know how to answer the question 'Who are friends?' for the
argument declares 'That the good are friends.'
Yes, he said, that is true.
Yes, I replied; and yet I am not quite satisfied with this answer. By
heaven, and shall I tell you what I suspect? I will. Assuming that like,
inasmuch as he is like, is the friend of like, and useful to him--or rather
let me try another way of putting the matter: Can like do any good or harm
to like which he could not do to himself, or suffer anything from his like
|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 In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson:
visited the islands his arm was in a sling. Captain Hart, a man of
English birth, but an American subject, had conceived the idea of
cotton culture in the Marquesas during the American War, and was at
first rewarded with success. His plantation at Anaho was highly
productive; island cotton fetched a high price, and the natives
used to debate which was the stronger power, Ima Hati or the
French: deciding in favour of the captain, because, though the
French had the most ships, he had the more money.
He marked Taahauku for a suitable site, acquired it, and offered
the superintendence to Mr. Robert Stewart, a Fifeshire man, already
some time in the islands, who had just been ruined by a war on