|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
in fact--and said so, with some feeling; but if he was hoping
to draw Aleck he failed; she reserved her opinion, if she had one;
she had not the habit of taking injudicious risks in any market,
worldly or other.
The pair must wait for next week's paper--Tilbury had
evidently postponed. That was their thought and their decision.
So they put the subject away and went about their affairs
again with as good heart as they could.
Now, if they had but known it, they had been wronging Tilbury
all the time. Tilbury had kept faith, kept it to the letter;
he was dead, he had died to schedule. He was dead more than four
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:
specimens from the tangled mass, and you will agree that no China-
aster is so fair as this living stone-flower of the deep, with its
daisy-like disc, and fine long prickly arms, which never cease
their graceful serpentine motion, and its colours hardly alike in
any two specimens. Handle them not, meanwhile, too roughly, lest,
whether modesty or in anger, they begin a desperate course of
gradual suicide, and, breaking off arm after arm piecemeal, fling
them indignantly at their tormentor. Along with these you will
certainly obtain a few of that fine bivalve, the great Scallop,
which you have seen lying on every fishmonger's counter in
Hastings. Of these you must pick out those which seem dirtiest and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
But the bad does not become bad; he is always bad. So that when the force
of circumstances overpowers the man of resources and skill and virtue, then
he cannot help being bad. And you, Pittacus, are saying, 'Hard is it to be
good.' Now there is a difficulty in becoming good; and yet this is
possible: but to be good is an impossibility--
'For he who does well is the good man, and he who does ill is the bad.'
But what sort of doing is good in letters? and what sort of doing makes a
man good in letters? Clearly the knowing of them. And what sort of well-
doing makes a man a good physician? Clearly the knowledge of the art of
healing the sick. 'But he who does ill is the bad.' Now who becomes a bad
physician? Clearly he who is in the first place a physician, and 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 Thuvia, Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
maintain our physical bodies we must cause all our
organs properly to function.
"This we accomplish by materializing food-thoughts,
and by partaking of the food thus created. We chew, we
swallow, we digest. All our organs function precisely as
if we had partaken of material food. And what is the result?
What must be the result? The chemical changes take place
through both direct and indirect suggestion, and we live and thrive."
Carthoris eyed the food before him. It seemed real enough.
He lifted a morsel to his lips. There was substance indeed.
And flavour as well. Yes, even his palate was deceived.
Thuvia, Maid of Mars