|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Laches by Plato:
LACHES: Do you, Socrates, if you like, ask him: I think that I have asked
SOCRATES: I do not see why I should not; and my question will do for both
LACHES: Very good.
SOCRATES: Then tell me, Nicias, or rather tell us, for Laches and I are
partners in the argument: Do you mean to affirm that courage is the
knowledge of the grounds of hope and fear?
NICIAS: I do.
SOCRATES: And not every man has this knowledge; the physician and the
soothsayer have it not; and they will not be courageous unless they acquire
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
cold and able to resist the summer heat, so that they might have a natural
bed of their own when they wanted to rest; also he furnished them with
hoofs and hair and hard and callous skins under their feet. Then he gave
them varieties of food,--herb of the soil to some, to others fruits of
trees, and to others roots, and to some again he gave other animals as
food. And some he made to have few young ones, while those who were their
prey were very prolific; and in this manner the race was preserved. Thus
did Epimetheus, who, not being very wise, forgot that he had distributed
among the brute animals all the qualities which he had to give,--and when
he came to man, who was still unprovided, he was terribly perplexed. Now
while he was in this perplexity, Prometheus came to inspect the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Silas Marner by George Eliot:
"Was it a red Durham?" said the farrier, taking up the thread of
discourse after the lapse of a few minutes.
The farrier looked at the landlord, and the landlord looked at the
butcher, as the person who must take the responsibility of
"Red it was," said the butcher, in his good-humoured husky treble--
"and a Durham it was."
"Then you needn't tell _me_ who you bought it of," said the
farrier, looking round with some triumph; "I know who it is has got
the red Durhams o' this country-side. And she'd a white star on her
|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 Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
Bini Aru, having discovered the secret of instant transformation,
which required no tools or powders or other chemicals or herbs and
always worked perfectly, was reluctant to have such a wonderful
discovery entirely unknown or lost to all human knowledge. He decided
not to use it again, since Ozma had forbidden him to do so, but he
reflected that Ozma was a girl and some time might change her mind
and allow her subjects to practice magic, in which case Bini Aru could
again transform himself and others at will,--unless, of course, he
forgot how to pronounce Pyrzqxgl in the meantime.
After giving the matter careful thought, he decided to write the
The Magic of Oz