|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:
is a truth to him is a truism to the rest of the world; or may degenerate
in the next generation. He believes that to be the whole which is only a
part,--to be the necessary foundation which is really only a valuable
aspect of the truth. The systems of all philosophers require the criticism
of 'the morrow,' when the heat of imagination which forged them has cooled,
and they are seen in the temperate light of day. All of them have
contributed to enrich the mind of the civilized world; none of them occupy
that supreme or exclusive place which their authors would have assigned to
We may preface the criticism with a few preliminary remarks:--
Mr. Mill, Mr. Austin, and others, in their eagerness to maintain the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Facino Cane by Honore de Balzac:
saw the old man's hair gleaming like threads of silver in the
moonlight. The stillness was scarcely troubled by the sound of the
far-off thunder of traffic along the boulevards; the clear night air
and everything about us combined to make a strangely unreal scene.
"You talk of millions to a young man," I began, "and do you think that
he will shrink from enduring any number of hardships to gain them? Are
you not laughing at me?"
"May I die unshriven," he cried vehemently, "if all that I am about to
tell you is not true. I was one-and-twenty years old, like you at this
moment. I was rich, I was handsome, and a noble by birth. I began with
the first madness of all--with Love. I loved as no one can love
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dust by Mr. And Mrs. Haldeman-Julius:
"I can't be other than I am, Rose; but you pray, and as you pray
I'll bow my head."
INTO THE DUST-BIN
WITH the loss of her boy, time ceased to exist for Rose. The days
came and went, lengthening into years, full of duties, leaving
her as they found her, outwardly little changed and habitually
calm and kind, but inwardly sunk in apathy. She moved as if in a
dream, seeming to live in a strange world that would never again
seem real--this world without Billy. Occasionally, she would
forget and think he was out in the field or down in the mine;
|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 Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
the discovery of a star!"
"Yes, monsieur," replied the professor, elevating to a still higher
pitch the stentorian diapason of his voice, "I am Picot (Nepomucene),
but I have not discovered a star; I don't concern myself with any such
fiddle-faddle; besides, my eyes are very weak; and that insolent young
fellow I have come here to find is making me ridiculous with such
talk. I don't see him here; he is hiding himself, I know; he dares not
look me in the face."
"Who is this person who annoys you?" asked several voices at once.
"An unnatural pupil of mine," replied the old mathematician; "a scamp,
but full of ideas; his name is Felix Phellion."