|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Rivers to the Sea by Sara Teasdale:
Tho' you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.
I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.
I LOVE too much; I am a river
Surging with spring that seeks the sea,
I am too generous a giver,
Love will not stoop to drink of me.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
'and I begin by telling you that I have perfect confidence in you, as
I hope to prove to you. Your behavior to Mme. de Grandlieu is above
all praise,' the Count went on. (You see, madame, that you have paid
me a thousand times over for a very simple matter.)
"I bowed respectfully, and replied that I had done nothing but the
duty of an honest man.
" 'Well,' the Count went on, 'I have made a great many inquiries about
the singular personage to whom you owe your position. And from all
that I can learn, Gobseck is a philosopher of the Cynic school. What
do you think of his probity?'
" 'M. le Comte,' said I, 'Gobseck is my benefactor--at fifteen per
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from McTeague by Frank Norris:
his chin, perplexed and annoyed, hating to refuse, and
wishing that Maria were gone.
"Why, what's the good of it?" persisted Maria. He could
give no sufficient answer. "That's all right," she
asserted, carrying the pitcher out.
"Ah--Maria--I say, you--you might leave the door--ah, don't
quite shut it--it's a bit close in here at times." Maria
grinned, and swung the door wide. Old Grannis was horribly
embarrassed; positively, Maria was becoming unbearable.
"Got any junk?" cried Maria at Miss Baker's door. The
little old lady was sitting close to the wall in her
|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 Sophist by Plato:
will certainly be a very long one, a great deal longer than might be
expected from such a short and simple question. At the same time, I fear
that I may seem rude and ungracious if I refuse your courteous request,
especially after what you have said. For I certainly cannot object to your
proposal, that Theaetetus should respond, having already conversed with him
myself, and being recommended by you to take him.
THEAETETUS: But are you sure, Stranger, that this will be quite so
acceptable to the rest of the company as Socrates imagines?
STRANGER: You hear them applauding, Theaetetus; after that, there is
nothing more to be said. Well then, I am to argue with you, and if you
tire of the argument, you may complain of your friends and not of me.