|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley:
pieces, Master Synthesis would not be likely to put it together
again; much less to put it together in the right way, in which
Madam How made it.
And what was that?
By making a living animal, which went on growing, that is, making
itself; and making, as it grew, its shell to live in. Synthesis
has not found out yet the first step towards doing that; and, as I
believe, he never will.
But there would be no harm in his trying?
Of course not. Let everybody try to do everything they fancy.
Even if they fail, they will have learnt at least that they cannot
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Agesilaus by Xenophon:
followed close on the heels of the flying foe, and captured his camp.
Here the peltasts, not unnaturally, fell to pillaging, whereupon
Agesilaus formed a cordon of troops, round the property of friends and
foes alike, and so encamped.
Presently hearing that the enemy were in a state of disorder, the
result of every one holding his fellow responsible for what had
happened, he advanced without further stay on Sardis. Having arrived,
he fell to burning and ravaging the suburbs, while at the same time he
did not fail to make it known by proclamation that those who asked for
freedom should join his standard; or if there were any who claimed a
right of property in Asia he challenged them to come out and meet her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
"Indeed," answered Herbert, "nothing here betrays the presence of man."
"Let us go down," said Pencroft, "and search."
The sailor and his two companions returned to the shore, to the place
where they had left the "Bonadventure."
They had decided to make the tour of the island on foot, before exploring
the interior; so that not a spot should escape their investigations. The
beach was easy to follow, and only in some places was their way barred by
large rocks, which, however, they easily passed round. The explorers
proceeded towards the south, disturbing numerous flocks of sea-birds and
herds of seals, which threw themselves into the sea as soon as they saw the
strangers at a distance.
The Mysterious Island
|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 Contrast by Royall Tyler:
the dear little piece of old-fashioned prudery has got
in her head.
Why, you know that old Mr. John-Richard-Robert-
Jacob-Isaac-Abraham-Cornelius Van Dumpling, Billy
Dimple's father (for he has thought fit to soften his
name, as well as manners, during his English tour),
was the most intimate friend of Maria's father. The
old folks, about a year before Mr. Van Dumpling's
death, proposed this match: the young folks were
accordingly introduced, and told they must love one