|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
things; and now we have to enquire, What is the use of those useful things
which constitute wealth? For all things probably may be said to be useful
which we use in production, just as all things which have life are animals,
but there is a special kind of animal which we call 'man.' Now if any one
were to ask us, What is that of which, if we were rid, we should not want
medicine and the instruments of medicine, we might reply that this would be
the case if disease were absent from our bodies and either never came to
them at all or went away again as soon as it appeared; and we may therefore
conclude that medicine is the science which is useful for getting rid of
disease. But if we are further asked, What is that from which, if we were
free, we should have no need of wealth? can we give an answer? If we have
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare:
Co-supreme and stars of love;
As chorus to their tragic scene.
Beauty, truth, and rarity.
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclos'd in cinders lie.
Death is now the phoenix' nest;
And the turtle's loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,
Leaving no posterity:--
'Twas not their infirmity,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
grating continually on the fibres of his heart, so far from losing its
angles, grew more and more jagged, and the family in the Rue de
Hanovre always sharpened the edges. Indeed, their unceremonious
treatment and Pons' depreciation in value among them had affected the
servants; and while they did not exactly fail in respect, they looked
on the poor relation as a kind of beggar.
Pons' arch-enemy in the house was the ladies'-maid, a thin and wizened
spinster, Madeleine Vivet by name. This Madeleine, in spite of, nay,
perhaps on the strength of, a pimpled complexion and a viper-like
length of spine, had made up her mind that some day she would be Mme.
Pons. But in vain she dangled twenty thousand francs of savings before
|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 Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells:
who're up to diving-dresses by the time we're seven, can scarcely
imagine the effect of one on a simple-minded savage. One or two
of these niggers cut and run, the others started in a great hurry
trying to knock their brains out on the ground. And on I went as
slow and solemn and silly-looking and artful as a jobbing plumber.
It was evident they took me for something immense.
"Then up jumped one and began pointing, making extraordinary gestures
to me as he did so, and all the others began sharing their attention
between me and something out at sea. 'What's the matter now?' I said.
I turned slowly on account of my dignity, and there I saw, coming
round a point, the poor old Pride of Banya towed by a couple of canoes.