|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Arizona Nights by Stewart Edward White:
bottom. Some of the pack horses went down, sousing again our
unfortunate bedding, but by the grace of fortune not a saddle
pony lost his feet.
After a time the gorge widened. We came out into the box canon
with its trees. Here the water spread and shoaled to a depth of
only two or three inches. We splashed along gaily enough, for,
with the exception of an occasional quicksand or boggy spot, our
troubles were over.
Jed Parker and I happened to ride side by side, bringing up the
rear and seeing to it that the pack animals did not stray or
linger. As we passed the first of the rustlers' corrals, he
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lesser Hippias by Plato:
Theages by the mention of Theages in the Apology and Republic; or as the
Second Alcibiades seems to be founded upon the text of Xenophon, Mem. A
similar taste for parody appears not only in the Phaedrus, but in the
Protagoras, in the Symposium, and to a certain extent in the Parmenides.
To these two doubtful writings of Plato I have added the First Alcibiades,
which, of all the disputed dialogues of Plato, has the greatest merit, and
is somewhat longer than any of them, though not verified by the testimony
of Aristotle, and in many respects at variance with the Symposium in the
description of the relations of Socrates and Alcibiades. Like the Lesser
Hippias and the Menexenus, it is to be compared to the earlier writings of
Plato. The motive of the piece may, perhaps, be found in that passage of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Exiles by Honore de Balzac:
down to its place at the very bottom of Hell; but as suddenly it came
up again, turned, soared through the endless circles in every
direction, as a vulture, confined for the first time in a cage,
exhausts itself in vain efforts. The Shade was free to do this; he
could wander through the zones of Hell icy, fetid, or scorching
without enduring their pangs; he glided into that vastness as a
sunbeam makes its way into the deepest dark.
" 'God has not condemned him to any torment,' said the Master; 'but
not one of the souls you have seen suffering their various punishments
would exchange his anguish for the hope that is consuming this soul.'
"And just then the Shade came back to us, brought thither by an
|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 Off on a Comet by Jules Verne:
sole use, and the colony was fairly puzzled whenever he referred to such
unheard-of dates as the 47th of April or the 118th of May.
According to the old calendar, June had now arrived;
[illustration omitted] [page intentionally blank] and by the
professor's tables Gallia during the month would have advanced
27,500,000 leagues farther along its orbit, and would have attained
a distance of 155,000,000 leagues from the sun. The thermometer
continued to fall; the atmosphere remained clear as heretofore.
The population performed their daily avocations with systematic routine;
and almost the only thing that broke the monotony of existence was
an occasional visit from the blustering, nervous, little professor,