|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson:
speed, and which I found to be on the outskirts of the place, a
very suitable mansion, in a fine garden, with an extraordinary
large barn, byre, and stable, all in one. It was here my lord was
walking when I arrived; indeed, it had become his chief place of
frequentation, and his mind was now filled with farming. I burst
in upon him breathless, and gave him my news: which was indeed no
news at all, several ships having outsailed the NONESUCH in the
"We have been expecting you long," said my lord; "and indeed, of
late days, ceased to expect you any more. I am glad to take your
hand again, Mackellar. I thought you had been at the bottom of the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Glasses by Henry James:
guessed. She's in very bad danger."
"But from what cause? I, who by God's mercy have kept mine, know
everything that can be known about eyes," said Mrs. Meldrum.
"She might have kept hers if she had profited by God's mercy, if
she had done in time, done years ago, what was imperatively ordered
her; if she hadn't in fine been cursed with the loveliness that was
to make her behaviour a thing of fable. She may still keep her
sight, or what remains of it, if she'll sacrifice--and after all so
little--that purely superficial charm. She must do as you've done;
she must wear, dear lady, what you wear!"
What my companion wore glittered for the moment like a melon-frame
|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:
divine tyrant is a very tolerable governor of the universe. This is the
doctrine of Thrasymachus adapted to the public opinion of modern times.
There is yet a third view which combines the two:--freedom is obedience to
the law, and the greatest order is also the greatest freedom; 'Act so that
thy action may be the law of every intelligent being.' This view is noble
and elevating; but it seems to err, like other transcendental principles of
ethics, in being too abstract. For there is the same difficulty in
connecting the idea of duty with particular duties as in bridging the gulf
between phainomena and onta; and when, as in the system of Kant, this
universal idea or law is held to be independent of space and time, such a
mataion eidos becomes almost unmeaning.
|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 King Lear by William Shakespeare:
Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
Gon. Holla, holla!
That eye that told you so look'd but asquint.
Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer
From a full-flowing stomach. General,
Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony;
Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine.
Witness the world that I create thee here
My lord and master.
Gon. Mean you to enjoy him?
Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will.