|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Cavalry General by Xenophon:
not vice versa--not of course that the mere fact of being a small body
will enable them to endure toil or give them wings; but simply it is
easier to find five men than five hundred, who will take the requisite
care and pains with their horses, and personally practise of their own
accord the art of horsemanship.
But suppose the chance should occur of entering the lists against an
equal number of the enemy's cavalry, according to my judgment it were
no bad plan to split the squadron into divisions, the first of
which should be commanded by the squadron-leader, and the other by the
ablest officer to be found. This second-officer will for the time
being follow in rear of the leading division with the squadron leader;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde:
kept saying, "Humbug! humbug!" at the top of their voices. They
were extremely practical, and whenever they objected to anything
they called it humbug.
Then the moon rose like a wonderful silver shield; and the stars
began to shine, and a sound of music came from the palace.
The Prince and Princess were leading the dance. They danced so
beautifully that the tall white lilies peeped in at the window and
watched them, and the great red poppies nodded their heads and beat
Then ten o'clock struck, and then eleven, and then twelve, and at
the last stroke of midnight every one came out on the terrace, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
turning her eye-glass on persons not two yards away, and making her
remarks as though she were criticising or praising a study of a head,
a painting of genre. Her eyes, after wandering over the vast moving
picture, were suddenly caught by this figure, which seemed to have
been placed on purpose in one corner of the canvas, and in the best
light, like a person out of all proportion with the rest.
The stranger, alone and absorbed in thought, leaned lightly against
one of the columns that supported the roof; his arms were folded, and
he leaned slightly on one side as though he had placed himself there
to have his portrait taken by a painter. His attitude, though full of
elegance and dignity, was devoid of affectation. Nothing suggested
|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 Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
"Yes," he mumbled, "by the price of a revolver-shot."
He told me also that eventually Cloete returned to the States,
passenger in a cargo-boat from Albert Dock. The night before he
sailed he met him wandering about the quays, and took him home for
a drink. "Funny chap, Cloete. We sat all night drinking grogs,
till it was time for him to go on board."
It was then that Cloete, unembittered but weary, told him this
story, with that utterly unconscious frankness of a patent-medicine
man stranger to all moral standards. Cloete concluded by remarking
that he, had "had enough of the old country." George Dunbar had
turned on him, too, in the end. Cloete was clearly somewhat
Within the Tides