|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ballads by Robert Louis Stevenson:
And change in a breath again and rise in a strain of song,
Invoking the beaten drums, beholding the fall of the strong,
Calling the fowls of the air to come and feast on the dead.
And they held the chin in silence, and heard her, and shook the head;
For they knew the men of Taiarapu famous in battle and feast,
Marvellous eaters and smiters: the men of Vaiau not least.
To the land of the Namunu-ura, (10) to Paea, at length she came,
To men who were foes to the Tevas and hated their race and name.
There was she well received, and spoke with Hiopa the king. (11)
And Hiopa listened, and weighed, and wisely considered the thing.
"Here in the back of the isle we dwell in a sheltered place,"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
faculties. Cebes is the deeper and more consecutive thinker, Simmias more
superficial and rhetorical; they are distinguished in much the same manner
as Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Republic.
Other persons, Menexenus, Ctesippus, Lysis, are old friends; Evenus has
been already satirized in the Apology; Aeschines and Epigenes were present
at the trial; Euclid and Terpsion will reappear in the Introduction to the
Theaetetus, Hermogenes has already appeared in the Cratylus. No inference
can fairly be drawn from the absence of Aristippus, nor from the omission
of Xenophon, who at the time of Socrates' death was in Asia. The mention
of Plato's own absence seems like an expression of sorrow, and may,
perhaps, be an indication that the report of the conversation is not to be
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
composer doomed to remain a music master, so utterly did his character
lack the audacity which a musical genius needs if he is to push his
way to the front. A German's naivete does not invariably last him
through his life; in some cases it fails after a certain age; and even
as a cultivator of the soil brings water from afar by means of
irrigation channels, so, from the springs of his youth, does the
Teuton draw the simplicity which disarms suspicion--the perennial
supplies with which he fertilizes his labors in every field of
science, art, or commerce. A crafty Frenchman here and there will turn
a Parisian tradesman's stupidity to good account in the same way. But
Schmucke had kept his child's simplicity much as Pons continued to
|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 Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells:
fiddled with the piled dummy boxes of fancy soap and scent and so
forth that adorned the end of the counter, then turned about
petulantly, stuck his hands deeply into his pockets and withdrew
one to scratch his head. "I must do SOMETHING," he said. "I
can't stand it.
"I must invent something. And shove it.... I could.
"Or a play. There's a deal of money in a play, George. What
would you think of me writing a play eh?... There's all sorts of
things to be done.
"Or the stog-igschange."
He fell into that meditative whistling of his.