|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:
the political occupation? Suppose, Socrates, that if we have no other
example at hand, we choose weaving, or, more precisely, weaving of wool--
this will be quite enough, without taking the whole of weaving, to
illustrate our meaning?
YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly.
STRANGER: Why should we not apply to weaving the same processes of
division and subdivision which we have already applied to other classes;
going once more as rapidly as we can through all the steps until we come to
that which is needed for our purpose?
YOUNG SOCRATES: How do you mean?
STRANGER: I shall reply by actually performing the process.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
in prayer, used to hang above a tomb of the Rossi family with a
companion portrait of a Bishop, afterwards purchased by an
Englishman. The portrait might be attributed to Raphael, but for
the date. This example is, to my mind, superior to the portrait of
Baccio Bandinelli in the Musee; the latter is a little hard, while
the Templar, being painted upon 'lavagna,' or slate, has preserved
its freshness of coloring./"
"When I come to look for No. 7," continued Fraisier, "I find a
portrait of a lady, signed 'Chardin,' without a number on it! I went
through the pictures with the catalogue while the master of ceremonies
was making up the number of pall-bearers, and found that eight of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson:
and skirts, and displayed her trim strong legs clad in pink stockings of
the same shade as the kerchief she wore round her shoulders, and that
shimmered as she went. This was not her way in undress; he knew her
ways and the ways of the whole sex in the country-side, no one better;
when they did not go barefoot, they wore stout "rig and furrow" woollen
hose of an invisible blue mostly, when they were not black outright; and
Dandie, at sight of this daintiness, put two and two together. It was a
silk handkerchief, then they would be silken hose; they matched - then
the whole outfit was a present of Clem's, a costly present, and not
something to be worn through bog and briar, or on a late afternoon of
Sunday. He whistled. "My denty May, either your heid's fair turned, or
|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 Pupil by Henry James:
of ways and means: in other connexions he mostly kept to the
measure. Pemberton tried to imagine the Moreens at Oxford and
fortunately failed; yet unless they were to adopt it as a residence
there would be no modus vivendi for Morgan. How could he live
without an allowance, and where was the allowance to come from?
He, Pemberton, might live on Morgan; but how could Morgan live on
HIM? What was to become of him anyhow? Somehow the fact that he
was a big boy now, with better prospects of health, made the
question of his future more difficult. So long as he was markedly
frail the great consideration he inspired seemed enough of an
answer to it. But at the bottom of Pemberton's heart was the