|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne:
of every thing; for, whether 'twas hunger or thirst, or cold or
nakedness, or watchings, or whatever stripes of ill luck La Fleur
met with in our journeyings, there was no index in his physiognomy
to point them out by, - he was eternally the same; so that if I am
a piece of a philosopher, which Satan now and then puts it into my
head I am, - it always mortifies the pride of the conceit, by
reflecting how much I owe to the complexional philosophy of this
poor fellow, for shaming me into one of a better kind. With all
this, La Fleur had a small cast of the coxcomb, - but he seemed at
first sight to be more a coxcomb of nature than of art; and, before
I had been three days in Paris with him, - he seemed to be no
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from McTeague by Frank Norris:
what this is."
"I got it this morning," murmured the dentist. "It just now
came. I was making some fillings--there, in the
'Parlors,' in the window--and the postman shoved it through
the door. I thought it was a number of the 'American System
of Dentistry' at first, and when I'd opened it and looked at
it I thought I'd better----"
"Say, Mac," interrupted Trina, looking up from the notice,
"DIDN'T you ever go to a dental college?"
"Huh? What? What?" exclaimed McTeague.
"How did you learn to be a dentist? Did you go to a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Pivot of Civilization by Margaret Sanger:
the present situation. In his suggestive book, ``The Acquisitive
Society,'' R. H. Tawney, arrives at the conclusion that ``obsession by
economic issues is as local and transitory as it is repulsive and
disturbing. To future generations it will appear as pitiable as the
obsession of the seventeenth century by religious quarrels appears to-
day; indeed, it is less rational, since the object with which it is
concerned is less important. And it is a poison which inflames every
wound and turns each trivial scratch into a malignant ulcer. Society
will not solve the particular problems of industry until that poison
is expelled, and it has learned to see industry in its proper
perspective. IF IT IS TO DO THAT IT MUST REARRANGE THE SCALE OF
|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 Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:
her,' said Ballantrae.
'I am not very observant,' said Balmile. 'She seems comely.'
'You very dear and dull dog!' cried Ballantrae; 'chastity is
the most besotting of the virtues. Why, she has a look in
her face beyond singing! I believe, if you was to push me
hard, I might trace it home to a trifle of a squint. What
matters? The height of beauty is in the touch that's wrong,
that's the modulation in a tune. 'Tis the devil we all love;
I owe many a conquest to my mole' - he touched it as he spoke
with a smile, and his eyes glittered; - 'we are all
hunchbacks, and beauty is only that kind of deformity that I