|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Reason Discourse by Rene Descartes:
when it is not in our power to determine what is true, we ought to act
according to what is most probable; and even although we should not remark
a greater probability in one opinion than in another, we ought
notwithstanding to choose one or the other, and afterwards consider it, in
so far as it relates to practice, as no longer dubious, but manifestly
true and certain, since the reason by which our choice has been
determined is itself possessed of these qualities. This principle was
sufficient thenceforward to rid me of all those repentings and pangs of
remorse that usually disturb the consciences of such feeble and uncertain
minds as, destitute of any clear and determinate principle of choice,
allow themselves one day to adopt a course of action as the best, which
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne:
would he think? After seeing it disappear behind the moon's
south pole, he would see them reappear by the north pole!
They must therefore be a satellite of a satellite! Had J. T.
Maston given this unexpected news to the world? Was this the
_denouement_ of this great enterprise?
But the day passed without incident. The terrestrial
midnight arrived. The 8th of December was beginning.
One hour more, and the point of equal attraction would
be reached. What speed would then animate the projectile?
They could not estimate it. But no error could vitiate
Barbicane's calculations. At one in the morning this speed
From the Earth to the Moon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Father Damien by Robert Louis Stevenson:
room, the Honolulu manse.
But I fear you scarce appreciate how you appear to your fellow-men;
and to bring it home to you, I will suppose your story to be true.
I will suppose - and God forgive me for supposing it - that Damien
faltered and stumbled in his narrow path of duty; I will suppose
that, in the horror of his isolation, perhaps in the fever of
incipient disease, he, who was doing so much more than he had
sworn, failed in the letter of his priestly oath - he, who was so
much a better man than either you or me, who did what we have never
dreamed of daring - he too tasted of our common frailty. "O, Iago,
the pity of it!" The least tender should be moved to tears; the
|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 Poor and Proud by Oliver Optic:
hands, was as obstinate as a mule. It would not work one way or
another; now it melted down, and stuck to her fingers, and then
it became as solid as a rock. She fretted some at these crosses,
and as her spirits sank, her mother's rose, for she thought
Katy's resolution would not hold out long enough for her to
complete the experiment. But she underrated the energy of the
devoted girl, who, in the face of every discouragement, stuck to
the candy with as much zeal as the candy stuck to her.
As is almost always the case with those who persevere to the end,
Katy soon won a partial triumph, which gladdened her heart, and
gave her courage to continue her trying labors. She had worked a