|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
weapon, and not interfere with a society so well constituted, so
shrewd, so natural.
"My influence," he thought, "will depend on the influence of some
woman belonging to this class of society."
With this thought in his mind, conceived by the flame of this frenzied
desire, he fell upon the Comtesse de Vandenesse like a hawk on its
prey. That charming young woman in her head-dress of marabouts, which
produced the delightful "flou" of the paintings of Lawrence and
harmonized well with her gentle nature, was penetrated through and
through by the foaming vigor of this poet wild with ambition. Lady
Dudley, whom nothing escaped, aided this tete-a-tete by throwing the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton:
Peter. Brother Piscator, my friend is an honest countryman, and his
name is Coridon; and he is a downright witty companion, that met me
here purposely to be pleasant and eat a Trout; and I have not yet wetted
my line since we met together: but I hope to fit him with a Trout for his
breakfast; for I'll be early up.
Piscator. Nay, brother, you shall not stay so long; for, look you! here is
a Trout will fill six reasonable bellies.
Come, hostess, dress it presently; and get us what other meat the house
will afford; and give us some of your best barley-wine, the good liquor
that our honest forefathers did use to think of; the drink which
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from One Basket by Edna Ferber:
Terry followed his lithe, electric figure. She turned to meet
the heavy-lidded gaze of the woman seated opposite. She relaxed,
then, and sat back with a little sigh. "Well! If he talks that
way to the managers I don't see----"
Ruby laughed a mirthless little laugh. "Talk doesn't get it
over with the managers, honey. You've got to deliver."
"Well, but he's--that song is a good one. I don't say it's as
good as he thinks it is, but it's good."
"Yes," admitted the woman, grudgingly, "it's good."
The woman beckoned a waiter; he nodded and vanished, and
|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 Sophist by Plato:
like challenged and defined. For if Hegel introduces a great many
distinctions, he obliterates a great many others by the help of the
universal solvent 'is not,' which appears to be the simplest of negations,
and yet admits of several meanings. Neither are we able to follow him in
the play of metaphysical fancy which conducts him from one determination of
thought to another. But we begin to suspect that this vast system is not
God within us, or God immanent in the world, and may be only the invention
of an individual brain. The 'beyond' is always coming back upon us however
often we expel it. We do not easily believe that we have within the
compass of the mind the form of universal knowledge. We rather incline to
think that the method of knowledge is inseparable from actual knowledge,