|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:
and they spoke never a word. After a time it came to the little man
on the white horse that the world was very still. He started out
of his dream. Besides the little noises of their horses and equipment,
the whole great valley kept the brooding quiet of a painted scene.
Before him went his master and his fellow, each intently leaning
forward to the left, each impassively moving with the paces of his
horse; their shadows went before them--still, noiseless, tapering
attendants; and nearer a crouched cool shape was his own. He looked
about him. What was it had gone? Then he remembered the reverberation
from the banks of the gorge and the perpetual accompaniment of
shifting, jostling pebbles. And, moreover--? There was no breeze.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
"What!" I sprang from my chair.
"Sure thing. Said she had heard great things of us, and wanted us
to handle her case against the railroad."
"I would like to know what she is driving at," I reflected. "Is she
trying to reach me through you?"
Richey's flippancy is often a cloak for deeper feeling. He dropped
it now. "Yes," he said, "she's after the notes, of course. And
I'll tell you I felt like a poltroon - whatever that may be - when
I turned her down. She stood by the door with her face white, and
told me contemptuously that I could save you from a murder charge
and wouldn't do it. She made me feel like a cur. I was just as
The Man in Lower Ten
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:
are. Certain of comprehension, the thoughts we have never dared
breathe to any one before, find a tongue for her who seems
fore-destined to understand. The long-closed floodgates of feeling
are thrown wide, and our personality, pent up from the time of its
inception for very mistrust, sweeps forth in one uncontrollable
rush. For then the most reticent becomes confiding; the most
self-contained expands. Then every detail of our past lives assumes
an importance which even we had not divined. To her we tell them
all,--our boyish beliefs, our youthful fancies, the foolish with
the fine, the witty with the wise, the little with the great.
Nothing then seems quite unworthy, as nothing seems quite worthy
|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 Meno by Plato:
one of the earliest of them, is proved to have been of a later date by the
allusion of Anytus.
We cannot argue that Plato was more likely to have written, as he has done,
of Meno before than after his miserable death; for we have already seen, in
the examples of Charmides and Critias, that the characters in Plato are
very far from resembling the same characters in history. The repulsive
picture which is given of him in the Anabasis of Xenophon, where he also
appears as the friend of Aristippus 'and a fair youth having lovers,' has
no other trait of likeness to the Meno of Plato.
The place of the Meno in the series is doubtfully indicated by internal
evidence. The main character of the Dialogue is Socrates; but to the