|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from King Lear by William Shakespeare:
I smell the blood of a British man.
Enter Cornwall and Edmund.
Corn. I will have my revenge ere I depart his house.
Edm. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives
loyalty, something fears me to think of.
Corn. I now perceive it was not altogether your brother's evil
disposition made him seek his death; but a provoking merit,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Parmenides by Plato:
find an answer to them; for, as Socrates and Parmenides both admit, the
denial of abstract ideas is the destruction of the mind. We can easily
imagine that among the Greek schools of philosophy in the fourth century
before Christ a panic might arise from the denial of universals, similar to
that which arose in the last century from Hume's denial of our ideas of
cause and effect. Men do not at first recognize that thought, like
digestion, will go on much the same, notwithstanding any theories which may
be entertained respecting the nature of the process. Parmenides attributes
the difficulties in which Socrates is involved to a want of
comprehensiveness in his mode of reasoning; he should consider every
question on the negative as well as the positive hypothesis, with reference
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
called it. Here are some of the infections I have been able to give to
those atrocious lines," he added, pointing to a number of his
creations. "But, although I am able to conform them to the character
of each wearer--for, as you see, there are the hats of a doctor, a
grocer, a dandy, an artist, a fat man, a thin man, and so forth--the
style itself remains horrible. Seize, I beg of you, my whole
He took up a hat, low-crowned and wide-brimmed.
"This," he continued, "is the old hat of Claude Vignon, a great
critic, in the days when he was a free man and a free-liver. He has
lately come round to the ministry; they've made him a professor, a
|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 Persuasion by Jane Austen:
that the freckles were at all lessened. But everything must
take its chance. The evil of a marriage would be much diminished,
if Elizabeth were also to marry. As for herself, she might always
command a home with Lady Russell.
Lady Russell's composed mind and polite manners were put to some trial
on this point, in her intercourse in Camden Place. The sight of Mrs Clay
in such favour, and of Anne so overlooked, was a perpetual provocation
to her there; and vexed her as much when she was away, as a person in Bath
who drinks the water, gets all the new publications, and has
a very large acquaintance, has time to be vexed.
As Mr Elliot became known to her, she grew more charitable,