|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:
He was made up principally of fish bones and parchment, put
together with wire and Canada balsam; and smelt strongly of
spirits, though he never drank anything but water: but spirits he
used somehow, there was no denying. He had a great pair of
spectacles on his nose, and a butterfly-net in one hand, and a
geological hammer in the other; and was hung all over with pockets,
full of collecting boxes, bottles, microscopes, telescopes,
barometers, ordnance maps, scalpels, forceps, photographic
apparatus, and all other tackle for finding out everything about
everything, and a little more too. And, most strange of all, he
was running not forwards but backwards, as fast as he could.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
seemed well pleased.
As for me, I was so astonished that I did not at first see what was going on
by the brook; but when I did look there was a sad sight;
two fine horses were down, one was struggling in the stream,
and the other was groaning on the grass. One of the riders
was getting out of the water covered with mud, the other lay quite still.
"His neck is broke," said my mother.
"And serve him right, too," said one of the colts.
I thought the same, but my mother did not join with us.
"Well, no," she said, "you must not say that; but though I am an old horse,
and have seen and heard a great deal, I never yet could make out
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
courage instantly revived, and I called and signed to him to draw
near, and he, on his part, dropped immediately to the sands, and
began slowly to approach, with many stops and hesitations. At each
repeated mark of the man's uneasiness I grew the more confident
myself; and I advanced another step, encouraging him as I did so
with my head and hand. It was plain the castaway had heard
indifferent accounts of our island hospitality; and indeed, about
this time, the people farther north had a sorry reputation.
'Why,' I said, 'the man is black!'
And just at that moment, in a voice that I could scarce have
recognised, my kinsman began swearing and praying in a mingled
|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 Menexenus by Plato:
inconsistency of thought, can hardly be considered decisive of their
spurious character. For who always does justice to himself, or who writes
with equal care at all times? Certainly not Plato, who exhibits the
greatest differences in dramatic power, in the formation of sentences, and
in the use of words, if his earlier writings are compared with his later
ones, say the Protagoras or Phaedrus with the Laws. Or who can be expected
to think in the same manner during a period of authorship extending over
above fifty years, in an age of great intellectual activity, as well as of
political and literary transition? Certainly not Plato, whose earlier
writings are separated from his later ones by as wide an interval of
philosophical speculation as that which separates his later writings from