|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:
I never myself possessed the instrument of the science which is
wealth, so as to go through the pupil stage, nor hitherto has any one
proposed to hand me over his to manage. You, in fact, are the first
person to make so generous an offer. You will bear in mind, I hope,
that a learner of the harp is apt to break and spoil the instrument;
it is therefore probable, if I take in hand to learn the art of
economy on your estate, I shall ruin it outright.
 Lit. "The very thing, God help me! which would hinder . . ."
 Lit. "the art of administering an estate."
Critobulus retorted: I see, Socrates, you are doing your very best to
escape an irksome task: you would rather not, if you can help it,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Faraday as a Discoverer by John Tyndall:
requires time for its propagation. How he proposed to attack this
subject we may never know. But he has left some beautiful apparatus
behind; delicate wheels and pinions, and associated mirrors, which
were to have been employed in the investigation. The mere conception
of such an inquiry is an illustration of his strength and hopefulness,
and it is impossible to say to what results it might have led him.
But the work was too heavy for his tired brain. It was long before
he could bring himself to relinquish it and during this struggle he
often suffered from fatigue of mind. It was at this period,
and before he resigned himself to the repose which marked the last
two years of his life, that he wrote to me the following letter--
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
single will, can find no assistant. That assistant ought to be what is
called a cabinet; but there is no cabinet in France, there is only a
Will with a life lease. In France it is the government that is blamed,
the opposition never; it may lose as many battles as it fights, but,
like the allies in 1814, one victory suffices. With "three glorious
days" it overturned and destroyed everything. Therefore, if we are
heirs of power, we must cease to govern, and wait. I belong by my
personal opinions to the aristocracy, and by my public opinions to the
royalty of July. The house of Orleans served me to raise the fortunes
of my family, and I shall ever remain attached to it."
"The 'ever' of Monsieur de Talleyrand, be it understood," put in
|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 Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
"I'll captain her," concluded Moran, sullenly, at the end of their
talk. "You must act as mate, Mr. Wilbur. And don't get any
mistaken idea into your head that, because I'm a young girl and
alone, you are going to run things your way. I don't like funny
business any better than Charlie."
"Look here," said Wilbur, complaining, "don't think I'm altogether
a villain. I think you're a ripping fine girl. You're different
from any kind of girl I ever met, of course, but you, by jingo,
you're--you're splendid. There in the squall last evening, when
you stood at the wheel, with your hair--"