|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
hypothesis. Nor is it difficult to see that his crowning argument is
purely verbal, and is but the expression of an instinctive confidence put
into a logical form:--'The soul is immortal because it contains a principle
of imperishableness.' Nor does he himself seem at all to be aware that
nothing is added to human knowledge by his 'safe and simple answer,' that
beauty is the cause of the beautiful; and that he is merely reasserting the
Eleatic being 'divided by the Pythagorean numbers,' against the
Heracleitean doctrine of perpetual generation. The answer to the 'very
serious question' of generation and destruction is really the denial of
them. For this he would substitute, as in the Republic, a system of ideas,
tested, not by experience, but by their consequences, and not explained by
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy:
but hid it the more from those around. When
his mutilated, yellow and hairy body was being
washed and put into the coffin, she cried with hor-
ror, and wept and sobbed. When the coroner--
a special coroner for serious cases--came and
was taking her evidence, she noticed in the room,
where the inquest was taking place, two peasants
in irons, who had been charged as the principal
culprits. One of them was an old man with a
curly white beard, and a calm and severe coun-
tenance. The other was rather young, of a gipsy
The Forged Coupon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy:
which the oven threw out upon the operators and their utensils.
"Lord, Lord! if they baint come a'ready!" said Creedle.
"No--hey?" said Giles, looking round aghast; while the boy in the
background waved a reeking candlestick in his delight. As there
was no help for it, Winterborne went to meet them in the door-way.
"My dear Giles, I see we have made a mistake in the time," said
the timber-merchant's wife, her face lengthening with concern.
"Oh, it is not much difference. I hope you'll come in."
"But this means a regular randyvoo!" said Mr. Melbury, accusingly,
glancing round and pointing towards the bake-house with his stick.
"Well, yes," said Giles.
|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 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy:
come for the last act and take her to supper. From the theater
Stepan Arkadyevitch drove to Ohotny Row, selected himself the
fish and asparagus for dinner, and by twelve o'clock was at
Dussot's, where he had to see three people, luckily all staying
at the same hotel: Levin, who had recently come back from abroad
and was staying there; the new head of his department, who had
just been promoted to that position, and had come on a tour of
revision to Moscow; and his brother-in-law, Karenin, whom he must
see, so as to be sure of bringing him to dinner.
Stepan Arkadyevitch liked dining, but still better he liked to
give a dinner, small, but very choice, both as regards the food