|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson:
conventional order, briefly touched, soberly suppressed in
tone, courting neglect. But the realist, with a fine
intemperance, will not suffer the presence of anything so
dead as a convention; he shall have all fiery, all hot-
pressed from nature, all charactered and notable, seizing the
eye. The style that befits either of these extremes, once
chosen, brings with it its necessary disabilities and
dangers. The immediate danger of the realist is to sacrifice
the beauty and significance of the whole to local dexterity,
or, in the insane pursuit of completion, to immolate his
readers under facts; but he comes in the last resort, and as
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
ophthalmia, although each of these is a disease, which, according to those
whom we call physicians, may require a different treatment. They are not
all alike, nor do they produce the same result, but each has its own
effect, and yet they are all diseases. May we not take an illustration
from the artizans?
SOCRATES: There are cobblers and carpenters and sculptors and others of
all sorts and kinds, whom we need not stop to enumerate. All have their
distinct employments and all are workmen, although they are not all of them
cobblers or carpenters or sculptors.
ALCIBIADES: No, indeed.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from King James Bible:
was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his
father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the
instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
CH2 5:2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads
of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto
Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the
city of David, which is Zion.
CH2 5:3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the
king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
CH2 5:4 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the
King James Bible
|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 Pool in the Desert by Sara Jeanette Duncan:
first presentable substitute that appeared, although it was strong.
I made no reference to my daughter's large fund of philosophy and
small balance of sentiment. I did not even--though this was
reprehensible--confess the test, the test of quality in these ten
days with the marble archives of the Moguls, which I had almost
wantonly suggested, which he had so unconsciously accepted, so
disastrously applied. I gave him quite fifteen minutes of his bad
quarter of an hour, and when it was over I wrote truthfully but
furiously to John. . ..
That was ten years ago. We have since attained the shades of
retirement, and our daughter is still with us when she is not with