|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Redheaded Outfield by Zane Grey:
head as large as a goose egg.
Every one of his teammates was sorry, yet
every one howled in glee. To be hit on the head
was the unpardonable sin for a professional.
Old man Hathaway gradually lost what little
speed he had, and with it his nerve. Every time
he pitched the ``rabbit'' he dodged. That was
about the funniest and strangest thing ever seen
on a ball field. Yet it had an element of tragedy.
Hathaway's expert contortions saved his head
and body on divers occasions, but presently a low
The Redheaded Outfield
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Meno by Plato:
knowing his ignorance.
The character of Meno, like that of Critias, has no relation to the actual
circumstances of his life. Plato is silent about his treachery to the ten
thousand Greeks, which Xenophon has recorded, as he is also silent about
the crimes of Critias. He is a Thessalian Alcibiades, rich and luxurious--
a spoilt child of fortune, and is described as the hereditary friend of the
great king. Like Alcibiades he is inspired with an ardent desire of
knowledge, and is equally willing to learn of Socrates and of the Sophists.
He may be regarded as standing in the same relation to Gorgias as
Hippocrates in the Protagoras to the other great Sophist. He is the
sophisticated youth on whom Socrates tries his cross-examining powers, just
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Summer by Edith Wharton:
his arm caught her as she sprang to the ground. He
passed his arm about her waist, steadying her against
the descending rush of people; and she clung to him,
speechless, exultant, as if all the crowding and
confusion about them were a mere vain stirring of the
"Come," he repeated, "we must try to make the trolley."
He drew her along, and she followed, still in her
dream. They walked as if they were one, so isolated in
ecstasy that the people jostling them on every side
seemed impalpable. But when they reached the terminus
|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 Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
the "hoc erat in votis" of Monsieur Phellion for twenty years; it was
the house of the Phellions, just as much as Cerizet's frogged coat was
the necessary complement of his personality.
This dwelling was stuck against the side of a large house, but only to
the depth of one room (about twenty feet or so), and terminated at
each end in a sort of pavilion with one window. Its chief charm was a
garden, one hundred and eighty feet square, longer than the facade of
the house by the width of a courtyard which opened on the street, and
a little clump of lindens. Beyond the second pavilion, the courtyard
had, between itself and the street, an iron railing, in the centre of
which was a little gate opening in the middle.