|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
ERASISTRATUS: That is my opinion.
SOCRATES: And are they not most prosperous who commit the fewest errors in
respect either of themselves or of other men?
SOCRATES: And they who know what is evil and what is good; what should be
done and what should be left undone;--these behave the most wisely and make
the fewest mistakes?
Erasistratus agreed to this.
SOCRATES: Then the wisest and those who do best and the most fortunate and
the richest would appear to be all one and the same, if wisdom is really
the most valuable of our possessions?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Second Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:
were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it--
all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered
from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war,
insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--
seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation.
Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather
than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather
than let it perish. And the war came.
One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed
generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it.
These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew
Second Inaugural Address
|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:
gripping outward from sudden darkness, prehensile, malevolent;
terrible as thunder, swift as lightning, the two engines met and
"He's hit," cried Delaney. "I know I hit him. He can't go far
now. After him again. He won't dare go through Bonneville."
It was true. Dyke had stood between cab and tender throughout
all the duel, exposed, reckless, thinking only of attack and not
of defence, and a bullet from one of the pistols had grazed his
hip. How serious was the wound he did not know, but he had no
thought of giving up. He tore back through the depot at
Guadalajara in a storm of bullets, and, clinging to the broken
|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 Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie:
and to go shouting out: "I tell you I won't have it!"
I woke up with a start.
At once I realized that I was in a very awkward predicament.
For, about twelve feet away from me, John and Mary Cavendish were
standing facing each other, and they were evidently quarrelling.
And, quite as evidently, they were unaware of my vicinity, for
before I could move or speak John repeated the words which had
aroused me from my dream.
"I tell you, Mary, I won't have it."
Mary's voice came, cool and liquid:
"Have *YOU any right to criticize my actions?"
The Mysterious Affair at Styles