|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Republic by Plato:
of the virtues mention was made of a longer road, which you were satisfied
to leave unexplored. 'Enough seemed to have been said.' Enough, my
friend; but what is enough while anything remains wanting? Of all men the
guardian must not faint in the search after truth; he must be prepared to
take the longer road, or he will never reach that higher region which is
above the four virtues; and of the virtues too he must not only get an
outline, but a clear and distinct vision. (Strange that we should be so
precise about trifles, so careless about the highest truths!) 'And what
are the highest?' You to pretend unconsciousness, when you have so often
heard me speak of the idea of good, about which we know so little, and
without which though a man gain the world he has no profit of it! Some
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
We have both prayed, kneeling before the same altar--and with what
earnestness, God knows!--for your happiness. My dear brother, it
cannot be that these prayers will remain unanswered. Heaven will send
you the love which you seek, to be the consolation of your exile.
Marie read your letter with tears, and is full of admiration for you.
As for me, I consent, not for my own sake, but for that of the family.
The King justified your expectations. Oh! that I might avenge you by
letting him see himself, dwarfed before the scorn with which you flung
him his toy, as you might toss a tiger its food.
The only thing I have taken for myself, dear brother, is my happiness.
I have taken Marie. For this I shall always be beholden to you, as the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Death of the Lion by Henry James:
seeing him before her retreat; a fortunate circumstance doubtless,
for she was fundamentally disappointed in him. This was not the
kind of performance for which she had invited him to Prestidge, let
alone invited the Princess. I must add that none of the generous
acts marking her patronage of intellectual and other merit have
done so much for her reputation as her lending Neil Paraday the
most beautiful of her numerous homes to die in. He took advantage
to the utmost of the singular favour. Day by day I saw him sink,
and I roamed alone about the empty terraces and gardens. His wife
never came near him, but I scarcely noticed it: as I paced there
with rage in my heart I was too full of another wrong. In 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 Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:
descended the pulpit stairs, and walked on his hands down the
central aisle of the church. He then remounted his feet, ascended
to the pulpit, and resumed his discourse, making no allusion to the
"Now," said he to himself, as he went home, "I shall have,
henceforth, a large attendance and no snoring."
But on the following Friday he was waited upon by the Pillars of
the Church, who informed him that in order to be in harmony with
the New Theology and get full advantage of modern methods of Gospel
interpretation they had deemed it advisable to make a change. They
had therefore sent a call to Brother Jowjeetum-Fallal, the World-