|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy:
in her, Stepan Arkadyevitch had become insufferably repulsive to
her, and that she could not see him without the grossest and most
hideous conceptions rising before her imagination.
"Oh, well, everything presents itself to me, in the coarsest,
most loathsome light," she went on. "That's my illness. Perhaps
it will pass off."
"But you mustn't think about it."
"I can't help it. I'm never happy except with thechildren at
"What a pity you can't be with me!"
"Oh, yes, I'm coming. I've had scarlatina, and I'll persuade
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
she glanced down the page with the clairvoyant eagerness of passion,
and read these words at the foot, "/Nothing has been decided as
yet . . ./" Turning to the other side with convulsive quickness, she
saw the mind of the writer distinctly through the intricacies of the
wording; this was no spontaneous outburst of love. She crushed it in
her fingers, twisted it, tore it with her teeth, flung it in the fire,
and cried aloud, "Ah! base that he is! I was his, and he had ceased to
She sank half dead upon the couch.
M. de Nueil went out as soon as he had written his letter. When he
came back, Jacques met him on the threshold with a note. "Madame la
|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:
poetry, neither can there be any good prose. It had no great characters,
and therefore it had no great writers. It was incapable of distinguishing
between words and things. It was so hopelessly below the ancient standard
of classical Greek art and literature that it had no power of understanding
or of valuing them. It is doubtful whether any Greek author was justly
appreciated in antiquity except by his own contemporaries; and this neglect
of the great authors of the past led to the disappearance of the larger
part of them, while the Greek fathers were mostly preserved. There is no
reason to suppose that, in the century before the taking of Constantinople,
much more was in existence than the scholars of the Renaissance carried
away with them to Italy.
|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 Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:
lover and beloved is like that of parent and child or brother and
brother where carnal appetite is in abeyance.
 See Xen. "Symp." viii. 35; Plut. "Lycurg." 18.
That this, however, which is the fact, should be scarcely credited in
some quarters does not surprise me, seeing that in many states the
laws do not oppose the desires in question.
 I.e. "law and custom."
I have now described the two chief methods of education in vogue; that
is to say, the Lacedaemonian as contrasted with that of the rest of
Hellas, and I leave it to the judgment of him whom it may concern,
which of the two has prodcued the finer type of men. And by finer I