|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from King Lear by William Shakespeare:
Call by thy trumpet. He that dares approach,
On him, on you, who not? I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly.
Alb. A herald, ho!
Edm. A herald, ho, a herald!
Alb. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers,
All levied in my name, have in my name
Took their discharge.
Reg. My sickness grows upon me.
Alb. She is not well. Convey her to my tent.
[Exit Regan, led.]
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lesser Hippias by Plato:
Aristotelian authority is a good deal impaired by the uncertainty
concerning the date and authorship of the writings which are ascribed to
him. And several of the citations of Aristotle omit the name of Plato, and
some of them omit the name of the dialogue from which they are taken.
Prior, however, to the enquiry about the writings of a particular author,
general considerations which equally affect all evidence to the genuineness
of ancient writings are the following: Shorter works are more likely to
have been forged, or to have received an erroneous designation, than longer
ones; and some kinds of composition, such as epistles or panegyrical
orations, are more liable to suspicion than others; those, again, which
have a taste of sophistry in them, or the ring of a later age, or the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Last War: A World Set Free by H. G. Wells:
giving out energy at every stage, until at last we reach the last
stage of all, which is, so far as we can tell at present, lead.
But we cannot hasten it.'
'I take ye, man,' whispered the chuckle-headed lad, with his red
hands tightening like a vice upon his knee. 'I take ye, man. Go
on! Oh, go on!'
The professor went on after a little pause. 'Why is the change
gradual?' he asked. 'Why does only a minute fraction of the
radium disintegrate in any particular second? Why does it dole
itself out so slowly and so exactly? Why does not all the
uranium change to radium and all the radium change to the next
The Last War: A World Set Free
|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 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe:
lifted her dark eyes, and fixed them on her with such a forlorn
and imploring expression, that the tears came into the little
"You needn't be afraid of anything; we are friends here, poor woman!
Tell me where you came from, and what you want," said she.
"I came from Kentucky," said the woman.
"When?" said Mr. Bird, taking up the interogatory.
"How did you come?"
"I crossed on the ice."
"Crossed on the ice!" said every one present.
Uncle Tom's Cabin