|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gorgias by Plato:
He is speaking not of the consciousness of happiness, but of the idea of
happiness. When a martyr dies in a good cause, when a soldier falls in
battle, we do not suppose that death or wounds are without pain, or that
their physical suffering is always compensated by a mental satisfaction.
Still we regard them as happy, and we would a thousand times rather have
their death than a shameful life. Nor is this only because we believe that
they will obtain an immortality of fame, or that they will have crowns of
glory in another world, when their enemies and persecutors will be
proportionably tormented. Men are found in a few instances to do what is
right, without reference to public opinion or to consequences. And we
regard them as happy on this ground only, much as Socrates' friends in the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
"Well," he went on, his eyes turned carefully away from my face,
which must have presented certainly anything but a pleasant sight.
"Miss West was going to do me the honor to marry me, and - "
"You scoundrel!" I burst forth, thrusting past Alison West's chair.
"You - you infernal cur!"
One of the detectives got up and stood between us. "You must
remember, Mr. Blakeley, that you are forcing this story from this
man. These details are unpleasant, but important. You were going
to marry this young lady," he said, turning to Sullivan, "although
you already had a wife living?"
"It was my sister's plan, and I was in a bad way for money. If I
The Man in Lower Ten
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:
treasury itself for the king's-evil. I covered six-
sevenths of the appropriation into the treasury a week
before starting from Camelot on my adventures, and
ordered that the other seventh be inflated into five-
cent nickels and delivered into the hands of the head
clerk of the King's Evil Department; a nickel to take
the place of each gold coin, you see, and do its work
for it. It might strain the nickel some, but I judged it
could stand it. As a rule, I do not approve of water-
ing stock, but I considered it square enough in this
case, for it was just a gift, anyway. Of course, you
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
|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 Frances Waldeaux by Rebecca Davis:
room and dragged the whole story from her. In fact the
poor anxious lady was glad to submit it to the girl's
shrewd hard sense.
"You told him that she was the uncontrolled mistress of
"It is the truth. I had to tell him the truth, my dear."
"Yes, I suppose so, for he would have found it out
"I do feel," panted Clara, "as if I had put a dove into
the claws of a vulture."
"Not at all," said Jean promptly. "The little man has a