|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lysis by Plato:
like must love like? they are the people who argue and write about nature
and the universe.
Very true, he replied.
And are they right in saying this?
They may be.
Perhaps, I said, about half, or possibly, altogether, right, if their
meaning were rightly apprehended by us. For the more a bad man has to do
with a bad man, and the more nearly he is brought into contact with him,
the more he will be likely to hate him, for he injures him; and injurer and
injured cannot be friends. Is not that true?
Yes, he said.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:
business-men gathered as usual in front of the market-
house, who were as usual gazed upon by the burghers
with feelings that those healthy lives were dearly paid
for by exclusion from possible aldermanship, when a
man, who had apparently been following her, said some
words to another on her left hand. Bathsheba's ears
were keen as those of any wild animal, and she dis-
tinctly heard what the speaker said, though her back
was towards him
"I am looking for Mrs. Troy. Is that she there?"
"Yes; that's the young lady, I believe." said the
Far From the Madding Crowd
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Heritage of the Desert by Zane Grey:
desert, and left his strength unshaken, but his deadly quiet and the
gloom of his iron face were more terrible to see than any grief.
"Father, and you, Hare, come out into the road," said George.
Another motionless form lay beyond Chance and Culver. It was that of a
slight man, flat on his back, his arms wide, his long black hair in the
dust. Under the white level brow the face had been crushed into a bloody
"Dene!" burst from Hare, in a whisper.
"Killed by a horse!" exclaimed August Naab. "Ah! What horse?"
"Silvermane!" replied George.
"Who rode my horse--tell me--quick!" cried Hare, in a frenzy.
The Heritage of the Desert
|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 Lysis by Plato:
Here, intending to revise the argument, I said: Can we point out any
difference between the congenial and the like? For if that is possible,
then I think, Lysis and Menexenus, there may be some sense in our argument
about friendship. But if the congenial is only the like, how will you get
rid of the other argument, of the uselessness of like to like in as far as
they are like; for to say that what is useless is dear, would be absurd?
Suppose, then, that we agree to distinguish between the congenial and the
like--in the intoxication of argument, that may perhaps be allowed.
And shall we further say that the good is congenial, and the evil
uncongenial to every one? Or again that the evil is congenial to the evil,