|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tattine by Ruth Ogden [Mrs. Charles W. Ide]:
your cart," and there, to be sure, was a fine sort of cage with a board top
and bottom and laths at the sides, while other laths were lying ready to be
nailed into place after the geese should have been stowed away within it. The
children were simply wild over this addition to their separate little sets of
live-stock, and although the whole day was delightful, there was all the while
an almost impatient looking forward to the supreme moment when they should
start for home with those beautiful geese in their keeping. And at last it
"I wonder if my goose will be a little lonely," said Tattine, as they all
stood about, watching Patrick nail on the laths.
"Faith and it will thin," said Mrs. Kirk. "It never came to my moind that they
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Riverman by Stewart Edward White:
that continued on down the river could hardly have much effect on
The work was breathless in its speed. From one to another sweat-
bathed, panting man the logs were handed on. As yet only the
advance of the big jam had arrived at the dredged channel.
Orde looked about him and realised this.
"We can't keep this up when the main body hits us," he panted to his
neighbour, Jim Denning. "We'll have to do some more pile-driver
He made a rapid excursion to the boom camp, whence he returned with
thirty or forty of the men who had given up work on the jam below.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity
of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to
[As the hare is noted for its extreme timidity, the
comparison hardly appears felicitous. But of course Sun Tzu was
thinking only of its speed. The words have been taken to mean:
You must flee from the enemy as quickly as an escaping hare; but
this is rightly rejected by Tu Mu.]
 Giles' Biographical Dictionary, no. 399.
 "The Science of War," p. 333.
 "Stonewall Jackson," vol. I, p. 421.
The Art of War
|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 Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
to the physician, or the passenger depends for safety on the pilot. And if
the soul does not set sail until she have obtained this she will be all the
safer in the voyage through life. But when she rushes in pursuit of wealth
or bodily strength or anything else, not having the knowledge of the best,
so much the more is she likely to meet with misfortune. And he who has the
love of learning (Or, reading polumatheian, 'abundant learning.'), and is
skilful in many arts, and does not possess the knowledge of the best, but
is under some other guidance, will make, as he deserves, a sorry voyage:--
he will, I believe, hurry through the brief space of human life, pilotless
in mid-ocean, and the words will apply to him in which the poet blamed his