|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:
was willing to travel with me; after which we picked up two more
English merchants also, and two young Portuguese gentlemen, the
last going to Paris only; so that in all there were six of us and
five servants; the two merchants and the two Portuguese, contenting
themselves with one servant between two, to save the charge; and as
for me, I got an English sailor to travel with me as a servant,
besides my man Friday, who was too much a stranger to be capable of
supplying the place of a servant on the road.
In this manner I set out from Lisbon; and our company being very
well mounted and armed, we made a little troop, whereof they did me
the honour to call me captain, as well because I was the oldest
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry:
End of this Project Gutenberg Etext of THE GIFT OF THE MAGI.
The Gift of the Magi
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Youth by Joseph Conrad:
out of our lashings we were as exposed as if on a raft.
But we went. The house was shattered as if a shell had
exploded inside. Most of it had gone overboard--stove,
men's quarters, and their property, all was gone; but
two posts, holding a portion of the bulkhead to which
Abraham's bunk was attached, remained as if by a mir-
acle. We groped in the ruins and came upon this, and
there he was, sitting in his bunk, surrounded by foam and
wreckage, jabbering cheerfully to himself. He was out
of his mind; completely and for ever mad, with this
sudden shock coming upon the fag-end of his endurance.
|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 Lysis by Plato:
are no longer lovers of wisdom; nor can they be lovers of wisdom who are
ignorant to the extent of being evil, for no evil or ignorant person is a
lover of wisdom. There remain those who have the misfortune to be
ignorant, but are not yet hardened in their ignorance, or void of
understanding, and do not as yet fancy that they know what they do not
know: and therefore those who are the lovers of wisdom are as yet neither
good nor bad. But the bad do not love wisdom any more than the good; for,
as we have already seen, neither is unlike the friend of unlike, nor like
of like. You remember that?
Yes, they both said.
And so, Lysis and Menexenus, we have discovered the nature of friendship--