|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Poor and Proud by Oliver Optic:
not to let another person be deceived, and followed the two girls
into State Street, as much for the purpose of exposing Ann's
wickedness, as to learn the trick she intended to play.
"Now you go away," said Ann to her companion, as she placed
herself on the steps of the Merchants-Bank.
It was nearly dark by this time, and as there were but few
persons in the street, Ann did not commence her part of the
performance till she saw a well-dressed gentleman approach;
whereupon she began to cry as she had done twice before that day.
"Boo, hoo, hoo! O, dear me! I shall be killed!" cried she, so
lustily, that the well-dressed gentleman could not decently avoid
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
putting words in the place of things, the fallacy of arguing 'a dicto
secundum,' and in a circle, are frequently indicated by him. To all these
processes of truth and error, Aristotle, in the next generation, gave
distinctness; he brought them together in a separate science. But he is
not to be regarded as the original inventor of any of the great logical
forms, with the exception of the syllogism.
There is little worthy of remark in the characters of the Sophist. The
most noticeable point is the final retirement of Socrates from the field of
argument, and the substitution for him of an Eleatic stranger, who is
described as a pupil of Parmenides and Zeno, and is supposed to have
descended from a higher world in order to convict the Socratic circle of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Son of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
rushed forward upon Korak and Akut; but the old ape was too
wise to court any such unequal encounter. To have counseled
the boy to retreat now would have been futile, and Akut knew it.
To delay even a second in argument would have sealed the
death warrants of them both. There was but a single hope and
Akut seized it. Grasping the lad around the waist he lifted him
bodily from the ground, and turning ran swiftly toward another
tree which swung low branches above the arena. Close upon
their heels swarmed the hideous mob; but Akut, old though he
was and burdened by the weight of the struggling Korak, was
still fleeter than his pursuers.
The Son of Tarzan
|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 Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
you doubt it? Or perhaps you want to banish all social ladders,
and put us all on a flat table-land,--eh, May?"
The Doctor looked vexed, puzzled. Some terrible problem lay hid
in this woman's face, and troubled these men. Kirby waited for
an answer, and, receiving none, went on, warming with his
"I tell you, there's something wrong that no talk of 'Liberte'
or 'Egalite' will do away. If I had the making of men, these
men who do the lowest part of the world's work should be
machines,--nothing more,--hands. It would be kindness. God
help them! What are taste, reason, to creatures who must live
Life in the Iron-Mills