|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:
labor to a leather-like toughness. He had fought upon the King's
side in all the late wars, and had at Shrewsbury received a wound
that unfitted him for active service, so that now he was fallen
to the post of Captain of Esquires at Devlen Castle--a man
disappointed in life, and with a temper imbittered by that
failure as well as by cankering pain.
Yet Perhaps no one could have been better fitted for the place he
held than Sir James Lee. The lads under his charge were a rude,
rough, unruly set, quick, like their elders, to quarrel, and to
quarrel fiercely, even to the drawing of sword or dagger. But
there was a cold, iron sternness about the grim old man that
Men of Iron
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Timaeus by Plato:
motions of the stars, the forms of atoms, the evolution and recurrence of
days, months, years, the military divisions of an army, the civil divisions
of a state, seemed to afford a 'present witness' of them--what would have
become of man or of the world if deprived of number (Rep.)? The mystery of
number and the mystery of music were akin. There was a music of rhythm and
of harmonious motion everywhere; and to the real connexion which existed
between music and number, a fanciful or imaginary relation was superadded.
There was a music of the spheres as well as of the notes of the lyre. If
in all things seen there was number and figure, why should they not also
pervade the unseen world, with which by their wonderful and unchangeable
nature they seemed to hold communion?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela:
tera's officers, a young man with a frank open face, drew
up to the table and stared insistently at Cervantes.
"Are you Luis Cervantes?"
"Yes. You're Solis, eh?"
"The moment you entered I thought I recognized you.
Well, well, even now I can hardly believe my eyes!"
"It's true enough!"
"Well, but . . . look here, let's have a drink, come
"Hm," Solis went on, offering Cervantes a chair,
"since when have you turned rebel?"
|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 A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:
will respectability be charming? When will the women in good society
vouchsafe to show rather less of their shoulders and rather more wit
or geniality? Marguerite Turquet, the Aspasia of the Cirque-Olympique,
is one of those frank, very living personalities to whom all is
forgiven, such unconscious sinners are they, such intelligent
penitents; of such as Malaga one might ask, like Cardot--a witty man
enough, albeit a notary--to be well "deceived." And yet you must not
think that any enormities were committed. Desroches and Cardot were
good fellows grown too gray in the profession not to feel at ease with
Bixiou, Lousteau, Nathan, and young La Palferine. And they on their
side had too often had recourse to their legal advisers, and knew them