|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
"Well, haven't I?" demanded the zebra.
"No; you called me a lobster," said the crab.
"Ladies and gentlemen," continued the zebra, "please pardon my poor
friend, because he is ignorant and stupid, and does not understand.
Also the pinch of his claw is very annoying. So pray tell him that
the world contains more land than water, and when he has heard your
judgment I will carry him back and dump him into his pool, where I
hope he will be more modest in the future."
"But we cannot tell him that," said Dorothy, gravely, "because it
would not be true."
The Emerald City of Oz
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
circumstances can only overpower him who, at some time or other, has
resources, and not him who is at all times helpless. The descent of a
great storm may make the pilot helpless, or the severity of the season the
husbandman or the physician; for the good may become bad, as another poet
'The good are sometimes good and sometimes bad.'
But the bad does not become bad; he is always bad. So that when the force
of circumstances overpowers the man of resources and skill and virtue, then
he cannot help being bad. And you, Pittacus, are saying, 'Hard is it to be
good.' Now there is a difficulty in becoming good; and yet this is
possible: but to be good is an impossibility--
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather:
any pleasure to do something that people like?"
"Does it? Oh, how fine it all is, your
coming on like this! But I didn't want you to
think it was because of that I wanted to see you."
He spoke very seriously and looked down at the floor.
Hilda studied him in wide-eyed astonishment
for a moment, and then broke into a low,
amused laugh. "My dear Mr. Alexander,
you have strange delicacies. If you please,
that is exactly why you wish to see me.
We understand that, do we not?"
|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 New Arabian Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson:
more or less solidly covered with turf. The Pavilion stood on an
even space; a little behind it, the wood began in a hedge of elders
huddled together by the wind; in front, a few tumbled sand-hills
stood between it and the sea. An outcropping of rock had formed a
bastion for the sand, so that there was here a promontory in the
coast-line between two shallow bays; and just beyond the tides, the
rock again cropped out and formed an islet of small dimensions but
strikingly designed. The quicksands were of great extent at low
water, and had an infamous reputation in the country. Close in
shore, between the islet and the promontory, it was said they would
swallow a man in four minutes and a half; but there may have been