|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells:
them. Plop! We must have appeared abruptly. We ceased to smoulder
almost at once, though the turf beneath me was uncomfortably hot. The
attention of every one--including even the Amusements' Association
band, which on this occasion, for the only time in its history,
got out of tune--was arrested by the amazing fact, and the still
more amazing yapping and uproar caused by the fact that a respectable,
over-fed lap-dog sleeping quietly to the east of the bandstand
should suddenly fall through the parasol of a lady on the west--in
a slightly singed condition due to the extreme velocity of its
movements through the air. In these absurd days, too, when we are
all trying to be as psychic, and silly, and superstitious as possible!
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:
but he looked it. He had to be pushed around in a wheel-chair.
People said he had locomotor ataxia, but that really meant
syphilis. We boys used to poke all kinds of fun at him because
one windy day his hat and his wig were blown off together, and we
discovered that he was as bald as an egg. We used to make jokes
about his automobile, as we called it. It had a little handle in
front, instead of a steering-wheel, and a man behind to push,
instead of an engine."
"How horrible!" remarked George with genuine feeling.
"I remember the poor devil had a paralysis soon after," continued
the friend, quite carelessly. "He could not steer any more, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
There is another point of view in which this passage should also be
considered. The great enemy of Plato is the world, not exactly in the
theological sense, yet in one not wholly different--the world as the hater
of truth and lover of appearance, occupied in the pursuit of gain and
pleasure rather than of knowledge, banded together against the few good and
wise men, and devoid of true education. This creature has many heads:
rhetoricians, lawyers, statesmen, poets, sophists. But the Sophist is the
Proteus who takes the likeness of all of them; all other deceivers have a
piece of him in them. And sometimes he is represented as the corrupter of
the world; and sometimes the world as the corrupter of him and of itself.
Of late years the Sophists have found an enthusiastic defender in 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 The Poems of Goethe, Bowring, Tr. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
Many grieve us, and as hour on hour is stealing,
To and fro our restless natures sway;
First we feel, and then we find each feeling
By the changeful world-stream borne away.
Well I know, we oft within us find
Many a hope and many a smart.
Charlotte, who can know our mind?
Charlotte, who can know our heart?
Ah! 'twould fain be understood, 'twould fain o'erflow
In some creature's fellow-feelings blest,
And, with trust, in twofold measure know