|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
cod-liver oil. What then can it possibly be, but sperm oil in
its unmanufactured, unpolluted state, the sweetest of all oils?
Think of that, ye loyal Britons! we whalemen supply your kings and
queens with coronation stuff!
Knights and Squires.
The chief mate of the Pequod was Starbuck, a native of Nantucket, and
a Quaker by descent. He was a long, earnest man, and though born on
an icy coast, seemed well adapted to endure hot latitudes, his flesh
being hard as twice-baked biscuit. Transported to the Indies, his
live blood would not spoil like bottled ale. He must have been born
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
" 'There are excellent reasons for that,' he said; 'the noble Count is
at death's door. He is one of the soft stamp that cannot learn how to
put an end to chagrin, and allow it to wear them out instead. Life is
a craft, a profession; every man must take the trouble to learn that
business. When he has learned what life is by dint of painful
experiences, the fibre of him is toughened, and acquires a certain
elasticity, so that he has his sensibilities under his own control; he
disciplines himself till his nerves are like steel springs, which
always bend, but never break; given a sound digestion, and a man in
such training ought to live as long as the cedars of Lebanon, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
10. The last ground of our belief in immortality, and the strongest, is
the perfection of the divine nature. The mere fact of the existence of God
does not tend to show the continued existence of man. An evil God or an
indifferent God might have had the power, but not the will, to preserve us.
He might have regarded us as fitted to minister to his service by a
succession of existences,--like the animals, without attributing to each
soul an incomparable value. But if he is perfect, he must will that all
rational beings should partake of that perfection which he himself is. In
the words of the Timaeus, he is good, and therefore he desires that all
other things should be as like himself as possible. And the manner in
which he accomplishes this is by permitting evil, or rather degrees of
|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 Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:
soon as you really could forgive me?"
"Why so positive?"
"I love somebody else."
The words seemed to astonish him.
"You do?" he cried. "Somebody else? But has not a
sense of what is morally right and proper any weight
"No, no, no--don't say that!"
"Anyhow, then, your love for this other man may be only
a passing feeling which you will overcome----"
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman