|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
who rose up smiling on the world; and so beneath the forest boughs
and through the dewy fields went little Annie home, better and wiser
for her dream.
Autumn flowers were dead and gone, yellow leaves lay rustling on the
ground, bleak winds went whistling through the naked trees, and cold,
white Winter snow fell softly down; yet now, when all without looked
dark and dreary, on little Annie's breast the fairy flower bloomed
more beautiful than ever. The memory of her forest dream had never
passed away, and through trial and temptation she had been true, and
kept her resolution still unbroken; seldom now did the warning bell
sound in her ear, and seldom did the flower's fragrance cease to float
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hellenica by Xenophon:
each state to govern itself and to use the laws of its own choice,
would be failing to act in the spirit of the king's rescript. But no
sooner had you got hold of Cadmeia than you would not suffer the
Thebans themselves to be independent. Now, if the maintenance of
friendship be an object, it is no use for people to claim justice from
others while they themselves are doing all they can to prove the
selfishness of their aims."
 For the political views of Autocles, see Curtius, "H. G." iv. 387,
v. 94 (Eng. tr.); see also Grote, "H. G." x. 225.
 Or, "what consistency is there between these precepts of yours and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
"That's just it. Mother always feels the girl is safe if she's
with me. Honestly, it's annoying. If I start to hold somebody's
hand, they laugh at me, and let me, just as if it wasn't part of
them. As soon as I get hold of a hand they sort of disconnect it
from the rest of them."
"Sulk," suggested Amory. "Tell 'em you're wild and have 'em
reform yougo home furiouscome back in half an hourstartle 'em."
Kerry shook his head.
"No chance. I wrote a St. Timothy girl a really loving letter
last year. In one place I got rattled and said: 'My God, how I
love you!' She took a nail scissors, clipped out the 'My God' and
This Side of Paradise
|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 Letters from England by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft:
the best people in London about them, young as well as old.
The old and the middle-aged are more attended to here than with us,
where the young are all in all. As Hayward said to me the other
evening, "it takes time to make PEOPLE, like cathedrals," and Mr.
Rogers and Miss Berry could not have been what they are now, forty
years ago. A long life of experience in the midst constantly of the
highest and most cultivated circles, and with several generations of
distinguished men gives what can be acquired in no other way. Mr.
Rogers said to me one day: "I have learnt more from men that from
BOOKS, and when I used to be in the society of Fox and other great
men of that period, and they would sometimes say 'I have always