|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle:
his shoulder, which he laid upon the grass. Then, looking upon
the feast spread upon the ground--and a fair sight it was to look upon--
he slowly rubbed his hand over his stomach, for to his hungry eyes
it seemed the fairest sight that he had beheld in all his life.
"Friend," said the Beggar, "let me feel the weight of that skin.
"Yea, truly," quoth Robin, "help thyself, sweet chuck, and meantime
let me see whether thy pigeon pie is fresh or no."
So the one seized upon the ale and the other upon the pigeon pie,
and nothing was heard for a while but the munching of food
and the gurgle of ale as it left the skin.
At last, after a long time had passed thus, Robin pushed
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Main Street by Sinclair Lewis:
three people who were to accompany them. The owner, now
at the wheel, was the essence of decent self-satisfaction; a
baldish, largish, level-eyed man, rugged of neck but sleek and
round of face--face like the back of a spoon bowl. He was
chuckling at her, "Have you got us all straight yet?"
"Course she has! Trust Carrie to get things straight and
get 'em darn quick! I bet she could tell you every date in
history!" boasted her husband.
But the man looked at her reassuringly and with a certainty
that he was a person whom she could trust she confessed,
"As a matter of fact I haven't got anybody straight."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:
fixed on the gilded hand which formed the knob of his shovel, but
without seeing either hand or shovel. He ceased even to poke the fire,
--a vast mistake! Isn't it one of our greatest pleasures to play with
the fire when we think of women? Our minds find speeches in those tiny
blue flames which suddenly dart up and babble on the hearth. We
interpret as we please the strong, harsh tones of a "burgundian."
Here I must pause to put before all ignorant persons an explanation of
that word, derived from a very distinguished etymologist who wishes
his name kept secret.
"Burgundian" is the name given, since the reign of Charles VI., to
those noisy detonations, the result of which is to fling upon the
|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 Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
Athenians: "The silent worship of the Lacedaemonians pleaseth me better
than all the offerings of the other Hellenes."' Such were the words of the
God, and nothing more. He seems to have meant by 'silent worship' the
prayer of the Lacedaemonians, which is indeed widely different from the
usual requests of the Hellenes. For they either bring to the altar bulls
with gilded horns or make offerings to the Gods, and beg at random for what
they need, good or bad. When, therefore, the Gods hear them using words of
ill omen they reject these costly processions and sacrifices of theirs.
And we ought, I think, to be very careful and consider well what we should
say and what leave unsaid. Homer, too, will furnish us with similar
stories. For he tells us how the Trojans in making their encampment,