|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
"Suppose you learn plain cooking. That's a useful accomplishment,
which no woman should be without," said Mrs. March, laughing
inaudibly at the recollection of Jo's dinner party, for she had
met Miss Crocker and heard her account of it.
"Mother, did you go away and let everything be, just to see how
we'd get on?" cried Meg, who had had suspicions all day.
"Yes, I wanted you to see how the comfort of all depends on
each doing her share faithfully. While Hannah and I did your work,
you got on pretty well, though I don't think you were very happy
or amiable. So I thought, as a little lesson, I would show you
what happens when everyone thinks only of herself. Don't you feel
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cratylus by Plato:
example the omega in oon, which represents the round form of the egg by the
figure of the mouth: or bronte (thunder), in which the fulness of the
sound of the word corresponds to the thing signified by it; or bombos
(buzzing), of which the first syllable, as in its English equivalent, has
the meaning of a deep sound. We may observe also (as we see in the case of
the poor stammerer) that speech has the co-operation of the whole body and
may be often assisted or half expressed by gesticulation. A sound or word
is not the work of the vocal organs only; nearly the whole of the upper
part of the human frame, including head, chest, lungs, have a share in
creating it; and it may be accompanied by a movement of the eyes, nose,
fingers, hands, feet which contributes to the effect of it.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
more marked in modern languages than in ancient. Both sentences and
paragraphs are more precise and definite--they do not run into one another.
They are also more regularly developed from within. The sentence marks
another step in an argument or a narrative or a statement; in reading a
paragraph we silently turn over the page and arrive at some new view or
aspect of the subject. Whereas in Plato we are not always certain where a
sentence begins and ends; and paragraphs are few and far between. The
language is distributed in a different way, and less articulated than in
English. For it was long before the true use of the period was attained by
the classical writers both in poetry or prose; it was (Greek). The balance
of sentences and the introduction of paragraphs at suitable intervals must
|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 Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:
I have no shoes.
I'll buy some for you.
This conversation may be carried on to any length,
according to the fertility of the minds of the children, the
excuses of Mrs. Wang at times being very ludicrous. All
these, however, being met, the host carries her off on his
back to partake of the dainties of a dog meat feast.
"What were you playing a few days ago when all the boys lay in a