|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Unsocial Socialist by George Bernard Shaw:
accidental-like, and should be glad of a reasonable offer from
any gentleman in want of a honest article."
As he spoke two gentlemen, much in want of the article, as their
clinging wet coats showed, ran through the gateway and made for
the chalet. Fairholme arrived first, exclaiming: "Fearful
shower!" and briskly turned his back to the ladies in order to
stand at the edge of the veranda and shake the water out of his
hat. Josephs came next, shrinking from the damp contact of his
own garments. He cringed to Miss Wilson, and hoped that she had
escaped a wetting.
"So far I have," she replied. "The question is, how are we to get
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
and modern philosophy, it seems best that we should at first study them
separately, and seek for the interpretation of either, especially of the
ancient, from itself only, comparing the same author with himself and with
his contemporaries, and with the general state of thought and feeling
prevalent in his age. Afterwards comes the remoter light which they cast
on one another. We begin to feel that the ancients had the same thoughts
as ourselves, the same difficulties which characterize all periods of
transition, almost the same opposition between science and religion.
Although we cannot maintain that ancient and modern philosophy are one and
continuous (as has been affirmed with more truth respecting ancient and
modern history), for they are separated by an interval of a thousand years,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Juana by Honore de Balzac:
had ceased to be the father and the head of the family, Juana felt
bound to him by no tie other than that imposed by conventional laws.
Nevertheless, she brought up her children to the highest respect for
paternal authority, however imaginary it was for them. In this she was
greatly seconded by her husband's continual absence. If he had been
much in the home Diard would have neutralized his wife's efforts. The
boys had too much intelligence and shrewdness not to have judged their
father; and to judge a father is moral parricide.
In the long run, however, Juana's indifference to her husband wore
itself away; it even changed to a species of fear. She understood at
last how the conduct of a father might long weigh on the future of 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 O Pioneers! by Willa Cather:
She threw out both her hands and caught his
across the gate. "Sadie, Milly, run tell your
father and Uncle Oscar that our old friend Carl
Linstrum is here. Be quick! Why, Carl, how
did it happen? I can't believe this!" Alexan-
dra shook the tears from her eyes and laughed.
The stranger nodded to his driver, dropped
his suitcase inside the fence, and opened the
gate. "Then you are glad to see me, and you
can put me up overnight? I couldn't go