|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
her the importance of a coterie. A few damaged politicians whose
wounds she had bound up, and whom she flattered, pronounced her as
capable in diplomacy as the wife of the Russian ambassador to London.
The Marquise had indeed several times suggested to deputies or to
peers words and ideas that had rung through Europe. She had often
judged correctly of certain events on which her circle of friends
dared not express an opinion. The principal persons about the Court
came in the evening to play whist in her rooms.
Then she also had the qualities of her defects; she was thought to be
--and she was--indiscreet. Her friendship seemed to be staunch; she
worked for her proteges with a persistency which showed that she cared
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
than by his own responsible choice busy himself with the loftiest
works of charity, because one is certain of following the will of
God in whatever one may do from obedience, but never certain in
the same degree of anything which we may do of our own proper
 Alfonso Rodriguez, S. J.: Pratique de la Perfection
Chretienne, Part iii., Treatise v., ch. x.
One should read the letters in which Ignatius Loyola recommends
obedience as the backbone of his order, if one would gain insight
into the full spirit of its cult. They are too long to
quote; but Ignatius's belief is so vividly expressed in a couple
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from On Revenues by Xenophon:
pride of our city, are persuaded that the accomplishment of their
hopes is to be found, not in peace but in war, I beg them to reflect
on some matters of history, and to begin at the beginning, the
Median war. Was it by high-handed violence, or as benefactors of the
Hellenes, that we obtained the headship of the naval forces, and the
trusteeship of the treasury of Hellas? Again, when through the too
cruel exercise of her presidency, as men thought, Athens was deprived
of her empire, is it not the case that even in those days, as soon
as we held aloof from injustice we were once more reinstated by the
islanders, of their own free will, as presidents of the naval force?
Nay, did not the very Thebans, in return for certain benefits, grant
|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 Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:
much as expressed. This practice places the hearer at some awkward
preliminary disadvantage, inasmuch as the story is nearly over
before he has any notion what it is all about; but really it puts
the speaker to much more trouble, for he is obliged to fashion his
whole sentence complete in his brain before he starts to speak.
This is largely in consequence of two omissions in Tartar etymology.
There are in Japanese no relative pronouns and no temporal
conjunctions; conjunctions, that is, for connecting consecutive
events. The want of these words precludes the admission of
afterthoughts. Postscripts in speech are impossible. The functions
of relatives are performed by position, explanatory or continuative