|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
answer her. I know their language well, and I
translated his reply.
"When she had left us I whispered to Grigori
"'Well, now, what do you think of her?'
"'Charming!' he replied. 'What is her
"'Her name is Bela,' I answered.
"And a beautiful girl she was indeed; her
figure was tall and slender, her eyes black as those
of a mountain chamois, and they fairly looked
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:
before the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, Mr. Douglass
presents a mass of thought, which, without any showy display of
logic on his part, requires an exercise of the reasoning
faculties of the reader to keep pace with him. And his "Claims
of the Negro Ethnologically Considered," is full of new and fresh
thoughts on the dawning science of race-history.
If, as has been stated, his intellection is slow, when unexcited,
it is most prompt and rapid when he is thoroughly aroused.
<17>Memory, logic, wit, sarcasm, invective pathos and bold
imagery of rare structural beauty, well up as from a copious
fountain, yet each in its proper place, and contributing to form
My Bondage and My Freedom
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
He gave me a good feed of oats and stood by while I ate it,
talking to himself and talking to me. Half an hour after
we were on our way to London, through pleasant lanes and country roads,
until we came into the great London thoroughfare, on which
we traveled steadily, till in the twilight we reached the great city.
The gas lamps were already lighted; there were streets to the right,
and streets to the left, and streets crossing each other, for mile upon mile.
I thought we should never come to the end of them. At last,
in passing through one, we came to a long cab stand, when my rider called out
in a cheery voice, "Good-night, governor!"
"Halloo!" cried a voice. "Have you got a good one?"
|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 Laches by Plato:
the treatment of the soul, and which of us has had good teachers?
LACHES: Well but, Socrates; did you never observe that some persons, who
have had no teachers, are more skilful than those who have, in some things?
SOCRATES: Yes, Laches, I have observed that; but you would not be very
willing to trust them if they only professed to be masters of their art,
unless they could show some proof of their skill or excellence in one or
LACHES: That is true.
SOCRATES: And therefore, Laches and Nicias, as Lysimachus and Melesias, in
their anxiety to improve the minds of their sons, have asked our advice
about them, we too should tell them who our teachers were, if we say that