|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
has also conferred riches upon him.
ERYXIAS: That is the case.
SOCRATES: Yet I dare be sworn that Critias will not be moved a whit by the
CRITIAS: No, by heaven, I should be a madman if I were. But why do you
not finish the argument which proves that gold and silver and other things
which seem to be wealth are not real wealth? For I have been exceedingly
delighted to hear the discourses which you have just been holding.
SOCRATES: My argument, Critias (I said), appears to have given you the
same kind of pleasure which you might have derived from some rhapsode's
recitation of Homer; for you do not believe a word of what has been said.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:
forest of Les Aigues was shamefully devastated by the peasantry, who
took advantage of the fact that there was practically no watch over
The appearance of three keepers handsomely dressed in green cloth, the
Emperor's color, with faces denoting firmness, and each of them well-
made, active, and capable of spending their nights in the woods, was a
great event in the valley, from Conches to Ville-aux-Fayes.
Throughout the district Groison was the only man who welcomed these
veterans. Delighted to be thus reinforced, he let fall a few threats
against thieves, who before long, he said, would be watched so closely
that they could do no damage. Thus the usual proclamation of all great
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
still in the presence of God, and our own esteem is not less important
to us than that of the world."
"Thank you, Felipe," I said, holding out my hand to him with a gesture
which you ought to see. "A woman, and I am nothing, if not a woman, is
on the road to loving the man who understands her. Oh! only on the
road," I went on, with a finger on my lips. "Don't let your hopes
carry you beyond what I say. My heart will belong only to the man who
can read it and know its every turn. Our views, without being
absolutely identical, must be the same in their breadth and elevation.
I have no wish to exaggerate my own merits; doubtless what seem
virtues in my eyes have their corresponding defects. All I can say is,
|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 Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey:
of sunshine brightened, for a brief time, the gray of our lives, and then
faded away, we must not shirk nor grow sour and discontented."
"But how cruel is this border life!"
"Nature itself is brutal."
"Yes, I know, and we have elected to spend our lives here in the midst of this
ceaseless strife, to fare poorly, to have no pleasure, never to feel the
comfort of a woman's smiles, nor the joy of a child's caress, all because out
in the woods are ten or twenty or a hundred savages we may convert."
"That is why, and it is enough. It is hard to give up the women you love to a
black-souled renegade, but that is not for my thought. What kills me is the
horror for her--for her."
The Spirit of the Border