|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
while giving us the power of thinking a great deal more than we are able to
fill up, seems to be wanting in some determinations of thought which we
require. We cannot say that physical science, which at present occupies so
large a share of popular attention, has been made easier or more
intelligible by the distinctions of Hegel. Nor can we deny that he has
sometimes interpreted physics by metaphysics, and confused his own
philosophical fancies with the laws of nature. The very freedom of the
movement is not without suspicion, seeming to imply a state of the human
mind which has entirely lost sight of facts. Nor can the necessity which
is attributed to it be very stringent, seeing that the successive
categories or determinations of thought in different parts of his writings
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:
guide. After half an hour's conversation I took my leave, being
half stifled by the closeness of the room. I imagine he could not
hold out long, and therefore withdrew to a little coffee-house
hard by, leaving a servant at the house with orders to come
immediately, and tell me, as near as he could, the minute when
Partridge should expire, which was not above two hours after;
when, looking upon my watch, I found it to be above five minutes
after seven; by which it is clear that Mr. Bickerstaff was
mistaken almost four hours in his calculation. In the other
circumstances he was exact enough. But whether he has not been
the cause of this poor man's death, as well as the predictor, may
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Market-Place by Harold Frederic:
Well, certain things that I've seen lead me to suppose
that he did that in order to please your daughter.
Did you understand it that way?"
"It's quite likely, in one sense," returned the General.
He spoke with much deliberation now, weighing all his words.
"He may have thought it would please her; he may not have
known how little my poor affairs concerned her."
"Well, then," pursued Thorpe, argumentatively, "he had
an object in pleasing her. Let me ask the question--
did he want to marry her?"
"Most men want to marry her," was the father's non-
|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 Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
wished asked the king pardon for her husband, the which, in
consequence of this adventure, she obtained. Nicole Beaupertuys having
led the king aside for a moment into an antechamber, told him to make
their guests drink hard and eat to repletion; that he was to make
merry and joke with them; but when the cloth was removed, he was to
pick quarrels with them about trifles, dispute their words, and be
sharp with them; and that she would then divert him by turning them
inside out before him. But above all things, he was to be friendly to
the said lady, and it was to appear as genuine, as if she enjoyed the
perfume of his favour, because she had gallantly lent herself to this
Droll Stories, V. 1