|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ancient Regime by Charles Kingsley:
ruled. We must believe too, that they were better, in every sense
of the word, than those tribes on their eastern frontier, whom they
conquered in after centuries, unless we discredit (which we have no
reason to do) the accounts which the Roman and Greek writers give of
the horrible savagery of those tribes.
So it was in later centuries. One cannot read fairly the history of
the Middle Ages without seeing that the robber knight of Germany or
of France, who figures so much in modern novels, must have been the
exception, and not the rule: that an aristocracy which lived by the
saddle would have as little chance of perpetuating itself, as a
priesthood composed of hypocrites and profligates; that the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Beast in the Jungle by Henry James:
concern, and the possibility was what most made him sorry for her.
If she did "know," moreover, in the sense of her having had some--
what should he think?--mystical irresistible light, this would make
the matter not better, but worse, inasmuch as her original adoption
of his own curiosity had quite become the basis of her life. She
had been living to see what would BE to be seen, and it would quite
lacerate her to have to give up before the accomplishment of the
vision. These reflexions, as I say, quickened his generosity; yet,
make them as he might, he saw himself, with the lapse of the
period, more and more disconcerted. It lapsed for him with a
strange steady sweep, and the oddest oddity was that it gave him,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Criminal Sociology by Enrico Ferri:
an abstract entity dependent upon law.
Here and there since the time of Beccaria another stream of theory
has made itself manifest. Thus there is the correctional school,
which Roeder brought into special prominence not many years ago.
But though it flourished in Germany, less in Italy and France, and
somewhat more in Spain, it had no long existence as an independent
school, for it was only too easily confuted by the close sequence
of inexorable facts. Moreover, it could do no more than oppose a
few humanitarian arguments on the reformation of offenders to the
traditional arguments of the theories of jurisprudence, of
absolute and relative justice, of intimidation, utility, and 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 The Foolish Virgin by Thomas Dixon:
down there and give her the ring in the pouring rain.
She knew this as well as he. She knew, too, that he
had the ring in his pocket, though he had carefully
refrained from referring to it in any way.
He led her to a secluded nook behind a pillar in
the little parlor. The hotel was deserted. They had
the building almost to themselves. A log fire crackled
in the open fireplace, and he drew a settee close. The
wind had moderated and the rain was pouring down in
straight streams, rolling in soft music on the roof.
He drew the ring from his pocket.