|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Plutarch's Lives by A. H. Clough:
the obsequies of Pompey performed. The next day Lucius
Lentulus, not knowing what had passed, came sailing from Cyprus
along the shore of that coast, and seeing a funeral pile, and
Philip standing by, exclaimed, before he was yet seen by any
one, "Who is this that has found his end here?" adding, after
a short pause, with a sigh, "Possibly even thou, Pompeius
Magnus!" and so going ashore, he was presently apprehended and
slain. This was the end of Pompey.
Not long after, Caesar arrived in the country that was polluted
with this foul act, and when one of the Egyptians was sent to
present him with Pompey's head, he turned away from him with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gorgias by Plato:
not incurable, and their punishment is intended for their improvement.
They are to suffer because they have sinned; like sick men, they must go to
the physician and be healed. On this representation of Plato's the
criticism has been made, that the analogy of disease and injustice is
partial only, and that suffering, instead of improving men, may have just
the opposite effect.
Like the general analogy of the arts and the virtues, the analogy of
disease and injustice, or of medicine and justice, is certainly imperfect.
But ideas must be given through something; the nature of the mind which is
unseen can only be represented under figures derived from visible objects.
If these figures are suggestive of some new aspect under which the mind may
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:
quarter-hour intervals; and always I saw Backus drinking his wine--
fairly and squarely, and the others throwing theirs away.
It was the painfullest night I ever spent.
The only hope I had was that we might reach our anchorage
with speed--that would break up the game. I helped the ship
along all I could with my prayers. At last we went booming
through the Golden Gate, and my pulses leaped for joy.
I hurried back to that door and glanced in. Alas, there was
small room for hope--Backus's eyes were heavy and bloodshot,
his sweaty face was crimson, his speech maudlin and thick,
his body sawed drunkenly about with the weaving motion of the ship.
|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 Danny's Own Story by Don Marquis:
the same as me, that book must of been what you
might call misleading in spots.
One morning I woke up in a good-sized town in
Illinoise, not a hundred miles from where I was
raised, without no money, and my clothes not much
to look at, and no job. I had been with a railroad
show fur about two weeks, driving stakes and other
rough work, and it had went off and left me sleeping
on the ground. circuses never waits fur nothing
nor cares a dern fur no one. I tried all day
around town fur to get some kind of a job.