|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Menexenus by Plato:
manifesting forth his cowardice. And all knowledge, when separated from
justice and virtue, is seen to be cunning and not wisdom; wherefore make
this your first and last and constant and all-absorbing aim, to exceed, if
possible, not only us but all your ancestors in virtue; and know that to
excel you in virtue only brings us shame, but that to be excelled by you is
a source of happiness to us. And we shall most likely be defeated, and you
will most likely be victors in the contest, if you learn so to order your
lives as not to abuse or waste the reputation of your ancestors, knowing
that to a man who has any self-respect, nothing is more dishonourable than
to be honoured, not for his own sake, but on account of the reputation of
his ancestors. The honour of parents is a fair and noble treasure to their
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:
and passions and then cast me abroad an object for the scorn and
horror of mankind. But on you only had I any claim for pity and redress,
and from you I determined to seek that justice which I vainly attempted
to gain from any other being that wore the human form.
"My travels were long and the sufferings I endured intense. It was
late in autumn when I quitted the district where I had so long resided.
I travelled only at night, fearful of encountering the visage of a
human being. Nature decayed around me, and the sun became heatless;
rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers were frozen; the surface
of the earth was hard and chill, and bare, and I found no shelter.
Oh, earth! How often did I imprecate curses on the cause of my being!
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Octopus by Frank Norris:
know damn well they've not got a steadier man on the road. And
more than that, more than that, I don't belong to the
Brotherhood. And when the strike came along, I stood by them--
stood by the company. You know that. And you know, and they
know, that at Sacramento that time, I ran my train according to
schedule, with a gun in each hand, never knowing when I was going
over a mined culvert, and there was talk of giving me a gold
watch at the time. To hell with their gold watches! I want
ordinary justice and fair treatment. And now, when hard times
come along, and they are cutting wages, what do they do? Do they
make any discrimination in my case? Do they remember the man
|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 King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace?
Have we not lost most part of all the towns,
By treason, falsehood, and by treachery,
Our great progenitors had conquered?
O, Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
The utter loss of all the realm of France.
Be patient, York: if we conclude
It shall be with such strict and severe covenants
As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.