|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Economist by Xenophon:
and thrust and parry of discussion, should occasion call?
 Lit. "to give a reason and to get a reason from others." Cf.
"Cyrop." I. iv. 3.
Isch. Does it not strike you rather, Socrates, that I am engaged in
one long practice of this very skill, now pleading as defendant
that, as far as I am able, I do good to many and hurt nobody? And
then, again, you must admit, I play the part of prosecutor when
accusing people whom I recognise to be offenders, as a rule in private
life, or possibly against the state, the good-for-nothing fellows?
 "The arts of the defendant, the apologist; and of the plaintiff,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:
their lives; an infinite number fell sick, and the physicians had more
work than ever, only with this difference, that more of their patients
recovered; that is to say, they generally recovered, but certainly there
were more people infected and fell sick now, when there did not die
above a thousand or twelve hundred in a week, than there was when
there died five or six thousand a week, so entirely negligent were the
people at that time in the great and dangerous case of health and
infection, and so ill were they able to take or accept of the advice of
those who cautioned them for their good.
The people being thus returned, as it were, in general, it was very
strange to find that in their inquiring after their friends, some whole
A Journal of the Plague Year
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
and the salt-airs of all the seas blew from him yet. He was a sturdy
and loyal Christian, and believed he was the best one in the land,
and the only one whose Christianity was perfectly sound, healthy,
full-charged with common sense, and had no decayed places in it.
People who had an ax to grind, or people who for any reason wanted
wanted to get on the soft side of him, called him The Christian--
a phrase whose delicate flattery was music to his ears, and whose
capital T was such an enchanting and vivid object to him that he
could SEE it when it fell out of a person's mouth even in the dark.
Many who were fond of him stood on their consciences with both feet
and brazenly called him by that large title habitually, because it
|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 Malbone: An Oldport Romance by Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
SO short was the period between Emilia's betrothal and her
marriage, that Aunt Jane's sufferings over trousseau and visits
did not last long. Mr. Lambert's society was the worst thing to
"He makes such long calls!" she said, despairingly. "He should
bring an almanac with him to know when the days go by."
"But Harry and Philip are here all the time," said Kate, the
"Harry is quiet, and Philip keeps out of the way lately," she
answered. "But I always thought lovers the most inconvenient