|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Beast in the Jungle by Henry James:
to himself that he must have spoken with odious impatience, such an
impatience as to show that, supremely disconcerted, he washed his
hands of the whole question.
"Oh!" said May Bartram.
"Are you in pain?" he asked as the woman went to her.
"No," said May Bartram.
Her maid, who had put an arm round her as if to take her to her
room, fixed on him eyes that appealingly contradicted her; in spite
of which, however, he showed once more his mystification.
"What then has happened?"
She was once more, with her companion's help, on her feet, and,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:
come three times before the curtain to make his bow.
While the glowing enthusiast was swabbing the perspiration
from his face, I said:
"I don't mean the least harm, but really, now, do you
think he can sing?"
"Him? NO! GOTT IM HIMMEL, ABER, how he has been able to
sing twenty-five years ago?" [Then pensively.] "ACH, no,
NOW he not sing any more, he only cry. When he think
he sing, now, he not sing at all, no, he only make
like a cat which is unwell."
Where and how did we get the idea that the Germans
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Critias by Plato:
whom he has revealed, and Critias, whose turn follows, begs that a larger
measure of indulgence may be conceded to him, because he has to speak of
men whom we know and not of gods whom we do not know. Socrates readily
grants his request, and anticipating that Hermocrates will make a similar
petition, extends by anticipation a like indulgence to him.
Critias returns to his story, professing only to repeat what Solon was told
by the priests. The war of which he was about to speak had occurred 9000
years ago. One of the combatants was the city of Athens, the other was the
great island of Atlantis. Critias proposes to speak of these rival powers
first of all, giving to Athens the precedence; the various tribes of Greeks
and barbarians who took part in the war will be dealt with as they
|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 Daisy Miller by Henry James:
"I see what you mean, of course," said Winterbourne after another pause.
"She has that charming look that they all have," his aunt resumed.
"I can't think where they pick it up; and she dresses
in perfection--no, you don't know how well she dresses.
I can't think where they get their taste."
"But, my dear aunt, she is not, after all, a Comanche savage."
"She is a young lady," said Mrs. Costello, "who has an intimacy
with her mamma's courier."
"An intimacy with the courier?" the young man demanded.
"Oh, the mother is just as bad! They treat the courier
like a familiar friend--like a gentleman. I shouldn't wonder