|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:
But reverse the picture. Suppose men and horses to have been taught
and trained to leap trenches and scale dykes, to spring up banks, and
plunge from heights without scathe, to gallop headlong at full speed
adown a steep: they will tower over unpractised opponents as the birds
of the air tower over creatures that crawl and walk. Their feet are
case-hardened by constant training, and, when it comes to tramping
over rough ground, must differ from the uninitiated as the sound man
from the lame. And so again, when it comes to charging and retiring,
the onward-dashing gallop, the well-skilled, timely retreat, expert
knowledge of the ground and scenery will assert superiority over
inexpertness like that of eyesight over blindness.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
stuffed olives. They sat down and talked in a window recess for a
moment, Wilbur toeing-in in absurd fashion as he tried to make a
lap for his plate.
"I thought," said Miss Herrick, "that you were going on the
Ridgeways' yachting party this afternoon. Mrs. Ridgeway said she
was counting on you. They are going out with the 'Petrel.'"
"She didn't count above a hundred, though," answered Wilbur. "I
got your bid first, so I regretted the yachting party; and I guess
I'd have regretted it anyhow," and he grinned at her over his cup.
"Nice man," she said--adding on the instant, "I must go now,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
I resisted all the way: a new thing for me, and a circumstance
which greatly strengthened the bad opinion Bessie and Miss Abbot
were disposed to entertain of me. The fact is, I was a trifle
beside myself; or rather OUT of myself, as the French would say: I
was conscious that a moment's mutiny had already rendered me liable
to strange penalties, and, like any other rebel slave, I felt
resolved, in my desperation, to go all lengths.
"Hold her arms, Miss Abbot: she's like a mad cat."
"For shame! for shame!" cried the lady's-maid. "What shocking
conduct, Miss Eyre, to strike a young gentleman, your benefactress's
|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 Complete Poems of Longfellow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
"Angela married! and not send
To tell her secret unto me!
O, speak! who may the bridegroom be?"
"My sister, 't is Baptiste, thy friend!"
A cry the blind girl gave, but nothing said;
A milky whiteness spreads upon her cheeks;
An icy hand, as heavy as lead,
Descending, as her brother speaks,
Upon her heart, that has ceased to beat,
Suspends awhile its life and heat.
She stands beside the boy, now sore distressed,