|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from On Horsemanship by Xenophon:
the object being to help the hairs to grow--those in the tail so as to
allow the creature the greatest reach possible in brushing away
molesting objects, and those of the neck in order that the rider
may have as free a grip as possible.
 Lit. "The gods, we must suppose, gave . . ."
 Lit. "as defences or protective bulwarks."
 Insects, etc.
Mane, forelock, and tail are triple gifts bestowed by the gods upon
the horse for the sake of pride and ornament, and here is the
proof: a brood mare, so long as her mane is long and flowing, will not
readily suffer herself to be covered by an ass; hence breeders of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twilight Land by Howard Pyle:
great thick neck, and a voice like a bull's.
"Do you mind," said he, "about how I clapped a man in the fire
and cooked him to a crisp that day that St. Peter came travelling
There was a little space of silence, and then the Soldier who had
cheated the Devil spoke up. "Why yes, friend," said he, "I know
your story very well."
"I am not so fortunate," said old Bidpai. "I do not know your
story. Tell me, friend, did you really bake a man to a crisp? And
how was it then?"
"Why," said the Blacksmith, "I was trying to do what a better man
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
with him, sent Madame Antonia a note which made her famous.
" 'MADAME,--Your conduct causes me much surprise and no less
distress. Not content with rending my heart with your disdain, you
have been so little thoughtful as to retain a toothbrush, which my
means will not permit me to replace, my estates being mortgaged
beyond their value.
" 'Adieu, too fair and too ungrateful friend! May we meet again in
a better world.
" 'CHARLES EDWARD.'
"Assuredly (to avail ourselves yet further of Sainte-Beuve's
Babylonish dialect), this far outpasses the raillery of Sterne's
|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 Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin:
of great note, and one of our provincial judges. Our friendship
continued without interruption to his death, upward of forty years;
and the club continued almost as long, and was the best school
of philosophy, morality, and politics that then existed in the province;
for our queries, which were read the week preceding their discussion,
put us upon reading with attention upon the several subjects,
that we might speak more to the purpose; and here, too, we acquired
better habits of conversation, every thing being studied in our
rules which might prevent our disgusting each other. From hence
the long continuance of the club, which I shall have frequent
occasion to speak further of hereafter.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin