|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Crisis in Russia by Arthur Ransome:
Communist clerks from the offices, and every one else who
wished to help, marched to work, 182 in all, and put in
1,012 hours of manual labor, in which they finished
the repairs of four locomotives and sixteen wagons and
loaded and unloaded 9,300 poods of engine and wagon parts
and material. It was found that the productivity of labor in
loading and unloading shown on this occasion was about
270 per cent. of the normal, and a similar superiority of
effort was shown in the other kinds of work. This example
was immediately copied on other railways. The Alexandrovsk
railway had its first "Saturdaying" on May 17th. Ninety-eight
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:
gossip and that of Madame Lepas, as precisely as the middle term of a
rule-of-three sum stands between the first and third, I have only to
relate it in as few words as may be. I shall therefore be brief.
"The room at la Grande Breteche in which Madame de Merret slept was on
the ground floor; a little cupboard in the wall, about four feet deep,
served her to hang her dresses in. Three months before the evening of
which I have to relate the events, Madame de Merret had been seriously
ailing, so much so that her husband had left her to herself, and had
his own bedroom on the first floor. By one of those accidents which it
is impossible to foresee, he came in that evening two hours later than
usual from the club, where he went to read the papers and talk
La Grande Breteche
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:
of old age, but to live is higher far, to be ourselves the book, or the
epistle, the truth embodied in a person, the Word made flesh. Something
like this we may believe to have passed before Plato's mind when he
affirmed that speech was superior to writing. So in other ages, weary of
literature and criticism, of making many books, of writing articles in
reviews, some have desired to live more closely in communion with their
fellow-men, to speak heart to heart, to speak and act only, and not to
write, following the example of Socrates and of Christ...
Some other touches of inimitable grace and art and of the deepest wisdom
may be also noted; such as the prayer or 'collect' which has just been
cited, 'Give me beauty,' etc.; or 'the great name which belongs to God
|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 Main Street by Sinclair Lewis:
dollar a day for unskilled work and, of course, her food and
room and a chance to do her own washing right in with the
rest of the wash. HOW MUCH DO YOU PAY, Mrs. KENNICOTT?"
"Yes! How much do you pay?" insisted half a dozen.
"W-why, I pay six a week," she feebly confessed.
They gasped. Juanita protested, "Don't you think it's hard
on the rest of us when you pay so much?" Juanita's demand
was re-inforced by the universal glower.
Carol was angry. "I don't care! A maid has one of the
hardest jobs on earth. She works from ten to eighteen hours
a day. She has to wash slimy dishes and dirty clothes. She