|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:
soul. But no effect can be generated without a cause, and therefore there
must be a fourth class, which is the cause of generation; for the cause or
agent is not the same as the patient or effect.
And now, having obtained our classes, we may determine in which our
conqueror life is to be placed: Clearly in the third or mixed class, in
which the finite gives law to the infinite. And in which is pleasure to
find a place? As clearly in the infinite or indefinite, which alone, as
Protarchus thinks (who seems to confuse the infinite with the superlative),
gives to pleasure the character of the absolute good. Yes, retorts
Socrates, and also to pain the character of absolute evil. And therefore
the infinite cannot be that which imparts to pleasure the nature of the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare:
so strong a prop to support so weak a burthen: only, if your
honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow
to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you
with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention
prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and
never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so
bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your
honour to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer
your own wish and the world's hopeful expectation.
Your honour's in all duty,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:
friend here," said Rastignac, tapping Blondet familiarly on the
shoulder, "we should have some fun. But a plague of odes, and ballads,
and driveling meditations, and novels with wide margins, pervades the
sofas and the atmosphere."
"I don't dislike them," said de Marsay, "so long as they corrupt
girls' minds, and don't spoil women."
"Gentlemen," smiled Blondet, "you are encroaching on my field of
"You need not talk. You have robbed us of the most charming woman in
the world, you lucky rogue; we may be allowed to steal your less
brilliant ideas," cried Rastignac.
|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 Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
over the dainty trimmings of a pelerine a la neige, and ruthlessly
crushing its endless frills of white tulle. After a laughing side
glance at her old father's troubled face, she broke silence.
"I never heard you say, my dear father, that the Government issued its
instructions in its dressing-gown. However," and she smiled, "that
does not matter; the mob are probably not particular. Now, what are
your proposals for legislation, and your official introductions?"
"I shall not always be able to make them, headstrong girl!--Listen,
Emilie. It is my intention no longer to compromise my reputation,
which is part of my children's fortune, by recruiting the regiment of
dancers which, spring after spring, you put to rout. You have already