|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
Mitchell. He was an amateur gymnast,--hence his anatomical eye;
a patron, in a blase' way, of the prize-ring; a man who sucked
the essence out of a science or philosophy in an indifferent,
gentlemanly way; who took Kant, Novalis, Humboldt, for what they
were worth in his own scales; accepting all, despising nothing,
in heaven, earth, or hell, but one-idead men; with a temper
yielding and brilliant as summer water, until his Self was
touched, when it was ice, though brilliant still. Such men are
not rare in the States.
As he knocked the ashes from his cigar, Wolfe caught with a
quick pleasure the contour of the white hand, the blood-glow of
Life in the Iron-Mills
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Timaeus by Plato:
of intelligence and always produce chance effects without order or design.
Of the second or co-operative causes of sight, which help to give to the
eyes the power which they now possess, enough has been said. I will
therefore now proceed to speak of the higher use and purpose for which God
has given them to us. The sight in my opinion is the source of the
greatest benefit to us, for had we never seen the stars, and the sun, and
the heaven, none of the words which we have spoken about the universe would
ever have been uttered. But now the sight of day and night, and the months
and the revolutions of the years, have created number, and have given us a
conception of time, and the power of enquiring about the nature of the
universe; and from this source we have derived philosophy, than which no
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:
us farewell indoors.
The night was nearly come; the village smelt of trees and flowers
and the sea and bread-fruit-cooking; there came a fine roll of sea
from the reef, and from a distance, among the woods and houses,
many pretty sounds of men and children. It did me good to breathe
free air; it did me good to be done with the captain and see,
instead, the creature at my side. I felt for all the world as
though she were some girl at home in the Old Country, and,
forgetting myself for the minute, took her hand to walk with. Her
fingers nestled into mine, I heard her breathe deep and quick, and
all at once she caught my hand to her face and pressed it there.
|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 On Horsemanship by Xenophon:
 Lit. "let there be wings of such sort, size, and number as to
protect the limbs."
Again, as an injury to the left hand may disable the horseman, we
would recommend the newly-invented piece of armour called the
gauntlet, which protects the shoulder, arm, and elbow, with the hand
engaged in holding the reins, being so constructed as to extend and
contract; in addition to which it covers the gap left by the corselet
under the armpit. The case is different with the right hand, which the
horseman must needs raise to discharge a javelin or strike a blow.
Here, accordingly, any part of the corselet which would hinder action
out to be removed; in place of which the corselet ought to have some