|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:
Socrates, not as narrating to me, but as actually conversing with the
persons whom he mentioned--these were, Theodorus the geometrician (of
Cyrene), and Theaetetus. I have omitted, for the sake of convenience, the
interlocutory words 'I said,' 'I remarked,' which he used when he spoke of
himself, and again, 'he agreed,' or 'disagreed,' in the answer, lest the
repetition of them should be troublesome.
TERPSION: Quite right, Euclid.
EUCLID: And now, boy, you may take the roll and read.
EUCLID'S SERVANT READS.
SOCRATES: If I cared enough about the Cyrenians, Theodorus, I would ask
you whether there are any rising geometricians or philosophers in that part
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:
fork, and all for my sake.'
"'Wasn't you in love with him?' I asks, all injudicious. 'Wasn't there
a deal on for you to become Mrs. Curiosity?'
"All of us do it sometimes. All of us get jostled out of the line of
profitable talk now and then. Mame put on that little lemon /glace/
smile that runs between ice and sugar, and says, much too pleasant:
'You're short on credentials for asking that question, Mr. Peters.
Suppose you do a forty-nine day fast, just to give you ground to stand
on, and then maybe I'll answer it.'
"So, even after Collier was kidnapped out of the way by the revolt of
his appetite, my own prospects with Mame didn't seem to be improved.
Heart of the West
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Crito by Plato:
and wronging those whom you ought least of all to wrong, that is to say,
yourself, your friends, your country, and us, we shall be angry with you
while you live, and our brethren, the laws in the world below, will receive
you as an enemy; for they will know that you have done your best to destroy
us. Listen, then, to us and not to Crito.'
This, dear Crito, is the voice which I seem to hear murmuring in my ears,
like the sound of the flute in the ears of the mystic; that voice, I say,
is humming in my ears, and prevents me from hearing any other. And I know
that anything more which you may say will be vain. Yet speak, if you have
anything to say.
CRITO: I have nothing to say, Socrates.
|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 Astoria by Washington Irving:
of hostility from the natives had subsided; indeed, as the season
advanced, the Indians for the most part had disappeared from the
neighborhood, and abandoned the sea-coast, so that, for want of
their aid, the colonists had at times suffered considerably for
want of provisions. The hunters belonging to the establishment
made frequent and wide excursions, but with very moderate
success. There were some deer and a few bears to be found in the
vicinity, and elk in great numbers; the country, however, was so
rough, and the woods so close and entangled that it was almost
impossible to beat up the game. The prevalent rains of winter,
also, rendered it difficult for the hunter to keep his arms in