|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Agesilaus by Xenophon:
spear-thrust they routed that portion of the enemy in front of them.
The Argives did not even wait for Agesilaus and his division, but fled
towards Helicon, and at that moment some of his foreign friends were
on the point of crowning Agesilaus with the wreath of victory, when
some one brought him word that the Thebans had cut through the
division from Orchomenus and were busy with the baggage-train.
Accordingly he at once deployed his division and advanced by
counter-march against them. The Thebans on their side, seeing that
their allies had scattered on Helicon, and eager to make their way
back to join their friends, began advancing sturdily.
 Lit. "a stade."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gambara by Honore de Balzac:
life to which most men have been condemned whose brains were busy with
innovations, whether in art, science, or politics. Fate, or the
instincts of their mind which cannot fit into the compartments where
the trading class sit, providentially guides them to the spots where
they may find teaching. Led by my passion for music I wandered
throughout Italy from theatre to theatre, living on very little, as
men can live there. Sometimes I played the bass in an orchestra,
sometimes I was on the boards in the chorus, sometimes under them with
the carpenters. Thus I learned every kind of musical effect, studying
the tones of instruments and of the human voice, wherein they differed
and how they harmonized, listening to the score and applying the rules
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:
side of an international river. So brief a conflict had rarely imposed
upon the fair promise of true sport. The reporters made what they
could of it, but, divested of padding, the action was sadly fugacious.
The champion merely smote his victim, turned his back upon him,
remarking, "I know what I done to dat stiff," and extended an arm like
a ship's mast for his glove to be removed.
Which accounts for a trainload of extremely disgusted gentlemen in an
uproar of fancy vests and neck-wear being spilled from their pullmans
in San Antonio in the early morning following the fight. Which also
partly accounts for the unhappy predicament in which "Cricket" McGuire
found himself as he tumbled from his car and sat upon the depot
Heart of the West
|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 Protagoras by Plato:
the company applauded his words.
Hippias the sage spoke next. He said: All of you who are here present I
reckon to be kinsmen and friends and fellow-citizens, by nature and not by
law; for by nature like is akin to like, whereas law is the tyrant of
mankind, and often compels us to do many things which are against nature.
How great would be the disgrace then, if we, who know the nature of things,
and are the wisest of the Hellenes, and as such are met together in this
city, which is the metropolis of wisdom, and in the greatest and most
glorious house of this city, should have nothing to show worthy of this
height of dignity, but should only quarrel with one another like the
meanest of mankind! I do pray and advise you, Protagoras, and you,