|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli:
and of Bartolommea di Stefano Nelli, his wife. Both parents were
members of the old Florentine nobility.
His life falls naturally into three periods, each of which singularly
enough constitutes a distinct and important era in the history of
Florence. His youth was concurrent with the greatness of Florence as
an Italian power under the guidance of Lorenzo de' Medici, Il
Magnifico. The downfall of the Medici in Florence occurred in 1494, in
which year Machiavelli entered the public service. During his official
career Florence was free under the government of a Republic, which
lasted until 1512, when the Medici returned to power, and Machiavelli
lost his office. The Medici again ruled Florence from 1512 until 1527,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dreams & Dust by Don Marquis:
Fierce, on a thousand fields.
And surely, somewhat of that faith
Our fathers fought for clings!
Which called this freedom's hemisphere,
Despite Earth's leagued kings.
Great creeds grow thews, or else they die.
Thought clothed in deed is lord.
What are thy gods? Thy gods brought love?
They also brought a sword.
Unchallenged, shall we always stand,
Secure, apart, aloof?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from From London to Land's End by Daniel Defoe:
they did not seem to think it needful, and as the shore is
convenient for batteries, they have some guns planted in proper
places, both for the defence of the Cobb and the town also.
This town is under the government of a mayor and aldermen, and may
pass for a place of wealth, considering the bigness of it. Here,
we found, the merchants began to trade in the pilchard-fishing,
though not to so considerable a degree as they do farther west--the
pilchards seldom coming up so high eastward as Portland, and not
very often so high as Lyme.
It was in sight of these hills that Queen Elizabeth's fleet, under
the command of the Lord Howard of Effingham (then Admiral), began
|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 Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey:
below. Chance, that had sported with him of late, now directed
him to a probable hiding-place. Again he laid aside his rifle,
and, removing boots and belt, he began to walk up the steps. Like
a mountain goat, he was agile, sure-footed, and he mounted the
first bench without bending to use his hands. The next ascent
took grip of fingers as well as toes, but he climbed steadily,
swiftly, to reach the projecting corner, and slipped around it.
Here he faced a notch in the cliff. At the apex he turned
abruptly into a ragged vent that split the ponderous wall clear
to the top, showing a narrow streak of blue sky.
At the base this vent was dark, cool, and smelled of dry, musty
Riders of the Purple Sage