|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Desert Gold by Zane Grey:
her needle, stopping from time to time to gaze with thoughtful
eyes into the fire. Jim Lash smoked his pipe by the hearth and
played with the cat on his knee. Thorne and Mercedes were at
the table with pencil and paper; and he was trying his best to keep
his attention from his wife's beautiful, animated face long enough
to read and write a little Spanish. Gale and Nell sat in a corner
watching the bright fire.
There came a low knock on the door. It may have been an ordinary
knock, for it did not disturb the women; but to Belding and his
rangers it had a subtle meaning.
"Who's that?" asked Belding, as he slowly pushed back his chair
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:
inhabiting them, they liked, as often as possible, to be invited
to dine there by their friends--"or even to tea, my dear," the
Princess laughingly avowed, "for I'm so awfully fond of buttered
scones; and Anastasius gives me so little to eat in the desert."
The encounter with these ambulant Highnesses had been fatal--
Lansing now perceived it--to Mrs. Hicks's principles. She had
known a great many archaeologists, but never one as agreeable as
the Prince, and above all never one who had left a throne to
camp in the desert and delve in Libyan tombs. And it seemed to
her infinitely pathetic that these two gifted beings, who
grumbled when they had to go to "marry a cousin" at the Palace
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
STRANGER: I have a third little request which I wish to make.
THEAETETUS: What is it?
STRANGER: You heard me say what I have always felt and still feel--that I
have no heart for this argument?
THEAETETUS: I did.
STRANGER: I tremble at the thought of what I have said, and expect that
you will deem me mad, when you hear of my sudden changes and shiftings; let
me therefore observe, that I am examining the question entirely out of
regard for you.
THEAETETUS: There is no reason for you to fear that I shall impute any
impropriety to you, if you attempt this refutation and proof; take heart,
|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 Theaetetus by Plato:
they are always in motion; but as for dwelling upon an argument or a
question, and quietly asking and answering in turn, they can no more do so
than they can fly; or rather, the determination of these fellows not to
have a particle of rest in them is more than the utmost powers of negation
can express. If you ask any of them a question, he will produce, as from a
quiver, sayings brief and dark, and shoot them at you; and if you inquire
the reason of what he has said, you will be hit by some other new-fangled
word, and will make no way with any of them, nor they with one another;
their great care is, not to allow of any settled principle either in their
arguments or in their minds, conceiving, as I imagine, that any such
principle would be stationary; for they are at war with the stationary, and