|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Symposium by Plato:
I am meditating? 'What are you meditating?' he said. 'I think,' I
replied, 'that of all the lovers whom I have ever had you are the only one
who is worthy of me, and you appear to be too modest to speak. Now I feel
that I should be a fool to refuse you this or any other favour, and
therefore I come to lay at your feet all that I have and all that my
friends have, in the hope that you will assist me in the way of virtue,
which I desire above all things, and in which I believe that you can help
me better than any one else. And I should certainly have more reason to be
ashamed of what wise men would say if I were to refuse a favour to such as
you, than of what the world, who are mostly fools, would say of me if I
granted it.' To these words he replied in the ironical manner which is so
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Human Drift by Jack London:
toward the dread spot, nothing manifested itself. As my
equanimity returned to me, I concluded that the whole affair had
been a trick of the imagination and that I had got what I deserved
for allowing my mind to dwell on such matters.
Once more my glances for'ard were casual, and not anxious; and
then, suddenly, I was a madman, rushing wildly aft. I had seen
the thing again, the long, wavering attenuated substance through
which could be seen the fore-rigging. This time I had reached
only the break of the poop when I checked myself. Again I
reasoned over the situation, and it was pride that counselled
strongest. I could not afford to make myself a laughing-stock.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne:
he had, therefore, an entire day to spend in the Californian capital.
Taking a carriage at a charge of three dollars, he and Aouda entered it,
while Passepartout mounted the box beside the driver, and they set out
for the International Hotel.
From his exalted position Passepartout observed with much curiosity
the wide streets, the low, evenly ranged houses, the Anglo-Saxon
Gothic churches, the great docks, the palatial wooden and brick warehouses,
the numerous conveyances, omnibuses, horse-cars, and upon the side-walks,
not only Americans and Europeans, but Chinese and Indians. Passepartout
was surprised at all he saw. San Francisco was no longer the legendary city
of 1849--a city of banditti, assassins, and incendiaries, who had flocked
Around the World in 80 Days
|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 Z. Marcas by Honore de Balzac:
words were nothing, but the expression!--That made us friends of ten
years' standing at once.
Marcas, on hearing us coming, had covered up his papers; we understood
that it would be taking a liberty to allude to his means of
subsistence, and felt ashamed of having watched him. His cupboard
stood open; in it there were two shirts, a white necktie and a razor.
The razor made me shudder. A looking-glass, worth five francs perhaps,
hung near the window.
The man's few and simple movements had a sort of savage grandeur. The
Doctor and I looked at each other, wondering what we could say in
reply. Juste, seeing that I was speechless, asked Marcas jestingly: