|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Straight Deal by Owen Wister:
words, "there is such a thing as being too proud to fight." The British
had been told by their General that they were fighting with their backs
to the wall. Since March 23rd the tread of the Hun had been coming
steadily nearer to Paris. Belleau Wood and Chateau-Thierry had not yet
struck the true ring from our metal and put into the hands of Foch the
one further weapon that he needed. French morale was burning very low and
blue. Yet even in such an hour, people apparently American and apparently
grown up, were talking against England, our ally. Then and thereafter,
even as to-day, they talked against her as they had been talking since
August, 1914, as I had heard them again and again, indoors and out, as I
heard a man one forenoon in a crowd during the earlier years of the war,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad:
profound blackness of the sky; it was the faint flicker of a painful
thought, gone as soon as perceived, that nothing but her
presence--after all--had the power to recall him to himself. He
stared at her. She sat with her hands on her lap, looking down; and he
noticed that her boots were dirty, her skirts wet and splashed, as
though she had been driven back there by a blind fear through a waste
of mud. He was indignant, amazed and shocked, but in a natural,
healthy way now; so that he could control those unprofitable
sentiments by the dictates of cautious self-restraint. The light in
the room had no unusual brilliance now; it was a good light in which
he could easily observe the expression of her face. It was that of
Tales of Unrest
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Odyssey by Homer:
of first, what last, for the gods of heaven have given me
woes in plenty? Now, first, will I tell my name, that ye
too may know it, and that I, when I have escaped the
pitiless day, may yet be your host, though my home is in a
far country. I am ODYSSEUS, SON OF LAERTES, who am in men's
minds for all manner of wiles, and my fame reaches unto
heaven. And I dwell in clear-seen Ithaca, wherein is a
mountain Neriton, with trembling forest leaves, standing
manifest to view, and many islands lie around, very near
one to the other, Dulichium and Same, and wooded Zacynthus.
Now Ithaca lies low, furthest up the sea-line toward the
|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 Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
next door to me in the box?"
I said, "Yes."
"Well, then," he said, "I hope you are good-tempered;
I do not like any one next door who bites."
Just then a horse's head looked over from the stall beyond;
the ears were laid back, and the eye looked rather ill-tempered.
This was a tall chestnut mare, with a long handsome neck.
She looked across to me and said:
"So it is you who have turned me out of my box; it is a very strange thing
for a colt like you to come and turn a lady out of her own home."
"I beg your pardon," I said, "I have turned no one out;