|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Apology by Xenophon:
lessons, and apter to forget the lessons I have learnt. And if to
these be added the consciousness of failing powers, the sting of self-
reproach, what prospect have I of any further joy in living? It may
be, you know," he added, "that God out of his great kindness is
intervening in my behalf to suffer me to close my life in the
ripeness of age, and by the gentlest of deaths. For if at this time
sentence of death be passed upon me, it is plain I shall be allowed to
meet an end which, in the opinion of those who have studied the
matter, is not only the easiest in itself, but one which will cause
the least trouble to one's friends, while engendering the deepest
longing for the departed. For of necessity he will only be thought of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War and the Future by H. G. Wells:
the English equivalent of an /embusque./ "We don't
generalise," I said, "we treat each case on its merits!"
One interlocutor near Udine was exercised by our Italian Red
"Here," he said, "are sixty or seventy young Englishmen, all fit
for military service.... Of course they go under fire, but it is
not like being junior officers in the trenches. Not one of them
has been killed or wounded."
He reflected. "One, I think, has been decorated," he said....
My French and Italian are only for very rough common jobs; when
it came to explaining the Conscientious Objector sympathetically
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:
of honey; the other, wisdom, a sober draught in which no wine mingles, is
of water unpleasant but healthful; out of these we must seek to make the
fairest of all possible mixtures.
SOCRATES: Tell me first;--should we be most likely to succeed if we
mingled every sort of pleasure with every sort of wisdom?
PROTARCHUS: Perhaps we might.
SOCRATES: But I should be afraid of the risk, and I think that I can show
a safer plan.
PROTARCHUS: What is it?
SOCRATES: One pleasure was supposed by us to be truer than another, and
|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 Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
dead. Like others who give way to their passions and make life, as
they call it, short and sweet, the Gilets had died in the almshouse in
the utmost poverty. Immediately after his return, the news of
Napoleon's landing at Cannes spread through France; Max could do no
better than go to Paris and ask for his rank as major and for his
cross. The marshal who was at that time minister of war remembered the
brave conduct of Captain Gilet in Portugal. He put him in the Guard as
captain, which gave him the grade of major in the infantry; but he
could not get him the cross. "The Emperor says that you will know how
to win it at the first chance," said the marshal. In fact, the Emperor
did put the brave captain on his list for decoration the evening after