|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
however, some one says: "The die is cast," which is not true, for it
is cut. The word is found in an immortal couplet by that eminent poet
and domestic economist, Senator Depew:
A cube of cheese no larger than a die
May bait the trap to catch a nibbling mie.
DIGESTION, n. The conversion of victuals into virtues. When the
process is imperfect, vices are evolved instead -- a circumstance from
which that wicked writer, Dr. Jeremiah Blenn, infers that the ladies
are the greater sufferers from dyspepsia.
DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
DISABUSE, v.t. The present your neighbor with another and better
The Devil's Dictionary
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad:
they saw Makola come out of his hut, a tin basin of soapy water in his
hand. Makola, a civilized nigger, was very neat in his person. He
threw the soapsuds skilfully over a wretched little yellow cur he had,
then turning his face to the agent's house, he shouted from the
distance, "All the men gone last night!"
They heard him plainly, but in their surprise they both yelled out
together: "What!" Then they stared at one another. "We are in a proper
fix now," growled Carlier. "It's incredible!" muttered Kayerts. "I
will go to the huts and see," said Carlier, striding off. Makola
coming up found Kayerts standing alone.
"I can hardly believe it," said Kayerts, tearfully. "We took care of
Tales of Unrest
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
you before I did. I've been in tortures, Linda."
"But, Stanley," said Linda, "what must I forgive you for?"
"Linda!"--Stanley was very hurt--"didn't you realize--you must have
realized--I went away without saying good-bye to you this morning? I can't
imagine how I can have done such a thing. My confounded temper, of course.
But--well"--and he sighed and took her in his arms again--"I've suffered
for it enough to-day."
"What's that you've got in your hand?" asked Linda. "New gloves? Let me
"Oh, just a cheap pair of wash-leather ones," said Stanley humbly. "I
noticed Bell was wearing some in the coach this morning, so, as I was
|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 New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:
individuals which is implied by military service is steadily and
quite naturally and quite illogically opposed by it. It is only in
recent years that Labour has emerged as a separate party from the
huge hospitable caravanserai of Liberalism, and there is still a
very marked tendency to step back again into that multitudinous
For multitudinousness has always been the Liberal characteristic.
Liberalism never has been nor ever can be anything but a diversified
crowd. Liberalism has to voice everything that is left out by these
other parties. It is the party against the predominating interests.
It is at once the party of the failing and of the untried; it is the