|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:
again, in regarding love as 'a madness'? That seems to arise out of the
antithesis to the former conception of love. At the same time he appears
to intimate here, as in the Ion, Apology, Meno, and elsewhere, that there
is a faculty in man, whether to be termed in modern language genius, or
inspiration, or imagination, or idealism, or communion with God, which
cannot be reduced to rule and measure. Perhaps, too, he is ironically
repeating the common language of mankind about philosophy, and is turning
their jest into a sort of earnest. (Compare Phaedo, Symp.) Or is he
serious in holding that each soul bears the character of a god? He may
have had no other account to give of the differences of human characters to
which he afterwards refers. Or, again, in his absurd derivation of mantike
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson:
must know the day of the month as well as Hanson and I. If a
broad hint were necessary, he had the broadest in the world.
For a large board had been nailed by the crown prince on the
very front of our house, between the door and window, painted
in cinnabar - the pigment of the country - with doggrel
rhymes and contumelious pictures, and announcing, in terms
unnecessarily figurative, that the trick was already played,
the claim already jumped, and Master Sam the legitimate
successor of Mr. Ronalds. But no, nothing could save that
man; QUEM DEUS VULT PERDERE, PRIUS DEMENTAT. As he came so
he went, and left his rights depending.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
Josephine cut recklessly into the rich dark cake that stood for her winter
gloves or the soling and heeling of Constantia's only respectable shoes.
But Cyril was most unmanlike in appetite.
"I say, Aunt Josephine, I simply can't. I've only just had lunch, you
"Oh, Cyril, that can't be true! It's after four," cried Josephine.
Constantia sat with her knife poised over the chocolate-roll.
"It is, all the same," said Cyril. "I had to meet a man at Victoria, and
he kept me hanging about till...there was only time to get lunch and to
come on here. And he gave me--phew"--Cyril put his hand to his forehead--
"a terrific blow-out," he said.
|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 Plutarch's Lives by A. H. Clough:
who was a breeder of horses, to give him a colt, and when he refused it,
threatened that in a short time he would turn his house into a wooden
horse, intimating that he would stir up dispute and litigation between
him and some of his relations.
He went beyond all men in the passion for distinction. When he was
still young and unknown in the world, he entreated Epicles of Hermione,
who had a good hand at the lute and was much sought after by the
Athenians, to come and practice at home with him, being ambitious of
having people inquire after his house and frequent his company. When he
came to the Olympic games, and was so splendid in his equipage and
entertainments, in his rich tents and furniture, that he strove to outdo