|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
only curiosity, but also a certain amount of sound intelligence; for
he began by asking how many peasant souls each of them possessed, and
how their affairs happened at present to be situated, and then
proceeded to enlighten himself also as their standing and their
families. Indeed, it was not long before he had succeeded in fairly
enchanting his new friends. In particular did Manilov--a man still in
his prime, and possessed of a pair of eyes which, sweet as sugar,
blinked whenever he laughed--find himself unable to make enough of his
enchanter. Clasping Chichikov long and fervently by the hand, he
besought him to do him, Manilov, the honour of visiting his country
house (which he declared to lie at a distance of not more than fifteen
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Passion in the Desert by Honore de Balzac:
doesn't matter. They're animals just the same as you are; but don't
you take to eating Frenchmen, or I shan't like you any longer."
She played like a dog with its master, letting herself be rolled over,
knocked about, and stroked, alternately; sometimes she herself would
provoke the soldier, putting up her paw with a soliciting gesture.
Some days passed in this manner. This companionship permitted the
Provencal to appreciate the sublime beauty of the desert; now that he
had a living thing to think about, alternations of fear and quiet, and
plenty to eat, his mind became filled with contrast and his life began
to be diversified.
Solitude revealed to him all her secrets, and enveloped him in her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:
self-sacrifice, is the ruling spirit of a State, men move on, one
step forward, towards realising that kingdom of the devil upon
earth, "Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost."
Only, alas! in that evil equality of envy and hate, there is no
hindmost, and the devil takes them all alike.
And so is a period of discontent, revolution, internecine anarchy,
followed by a tyranny endured, as in old Rome, by men once free,
because tyranny will at least do for them what they were too lazy
and greedy and envious to do for themselves.
And all because they have forgot
What 'tis to be a man--to curb and spurn.
|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 Cavalry General by Xenophon:
Now, to deal with this vast hostile array, if only the city will
determine to sally out en masse to protect her rural districts, the
prospect is fair. Under God, our troopers, if properly cared for, are
the finer men; our infantry of the line are no less numerous, and as
regards physique, if it comes to that, not one whit inferior, while in
reference to moral qualities, they are more susceptible to the spur of
a noble ambition, if only under God's will they be correctly trained.
Or again, as touching pride of ancestry, what have Athenians to fear
as against Boeotians on that score?
 See "Mem." III. v. 3, where it is contended that in pride of
ancestry Athenians can hold their own against Boeotians.