|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Treatise on Parents and Children by George Bernard Shaw:
children were set free to roam and play about as they pleased, they
would have to be policed; and the first duty of the police in a State
like ours would be to see that every child wore a badge indicating its
class in society, and that every child seen speaking to another child
with a lower-class badge, or any child wearing a higher badge than
that allotted to it by, say, the College of Heralds, should
immediately be skinned alive with a birch rod. It might even be
insisted that girls with high-class badges should be attended by
footmen, grooms, or even military escorts. In short, there is hardly
any limit to the follies with which our Commercialism would infect any
system that it would tolerate at all. But something like a change of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Treatise on Parents and Children by George Bernard Shaw:
above all, criticizing culture. If such persons are to read and talk
and criticize to any purpose, they must know the world outside the
university at least as well as the shopkeeper in the High Street does.
And this is just what they do not know at present. You may say of
them, paraphrasing Mr. Kipling, "What do they know of Plato that only
Plato know?" If our universities would exclude everybody who had not
earned a living by his or her own exertions for at least a couple of
years, their effect would be vastly improved.
The New Laziness
The child of the future, then, if there is to be any future but one of
decay, will work more or less for its living from an early age; and in
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Options by O. Henry:
one else oughtn't to know, that is all the more reason why everybody
should know it."
"Well," said Barbara, "this is what it says:
'Dearest Nevada--Come to my studio at twelve o'clock to-night. Do not
fail.'" Barbara rose and dropped the note in Nevada's lap. "I'm
awfully sorry," she said, "that I knew. It isn't like Gilbert. There
must be some mistake. Just consider that I am ignorant of it, will
you, dear? I must go up-stairs now, I have such a headache. I'm sure
I don't understand the note. Perhaps Gilbert has been dining too
well, and will explain. Good night!"
|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 Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:
know about those flowers."
"The Accessories before the Fact decline to answer any questions,"
I gravely replied. "And they reserve their defence."
"Well then, turn Queen's Evidence, please! The flowers have
disappeared in the night," she went on, turning to Arthur, "and we are
quite sure no one in the house has meddled with them. Somebody must
have entered by the window--"
"But the fastenings have not been tampered with," said the Earl.
"It must have been while you were dining, my Lady," said the housekeeper.
"That was it, said the Earl. "The thief must have seen you bring the
flowers," turning to me, "and have noticed that you did not take them
Sylvie and Bruno