|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
you on your honour to talk quietly while I am away." But they were too
subdued to do anything else. Most of them were blowing their noses.
The corridors were silent and cold; they echoed to Miss Meadows' steps.
The head mistress sat at her desk. For a moment she did not look up. She
was as usual disentangling her eyeglasses, which had got caught in her lace
tie. "Sit down, Miss Meadows," she said very kindly. And then she picked
up a pink envelope from the blotting-pad. "I sent for you just now because
this telegram has come for you."
"A telegram for me, Miss Wyatt?"
Basil! He had committed suicide, decided Miss Meadows. Her hand flew out,
but Miss Wyatt held the telegram back a moment. "I hope it's not bad
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
that tolerates a privileged class, or denies to any of its citizens
equal rights and equal means to maintain them. What was theory
before the war has been made fact by the war.
There is cause to be thankful even for rebellion. It is an impressive teacher,
though a stern and terrible one. In both characters it has come to us,
and it was perhaps needed in both. It is an instructor never
a day before its time, for it comes only when all other means
of progress and enlightenment have failed. Whether the oppressed
and despairing bondman, no longer able to repress his deep yearnings
for manhood, or the tyrant, in his pride and impatience, takes the initiative,
and strikes the blow for a firmer hold and a longer lease of oppression,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:
And this was for him indeed an occasion!
"Your half-breeds will think I am one of themselves," said Gaston,
showing his dusty clothes. "I am not fit to be seated with you." But he
did not mean this any more than his host had meant his remark about the
food. In his pack, which an Indian had brought from his horse, he carried
some garments of civilization. And presently, after fresh water and not a
little painstaking with brush and scarf, there came back to the Padre a
young guest whose elegance and bearing and ease of the great world were
to the exiled priest as sweet as was his traveled conversation.
They repaired to the hall and took their seats at the head of the long
table. For the Spanish centuries of stately custom lived at Santa YsabeI
|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 Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
yet, although you claimed to be wiser about things of real importance, you
would not any the more be richer than he.
I dare say, Eryxias, I said, that you may regard these arguments of ours as
a kind of game; you think that they have no relation to facts, but are like
the pieces in the game of draughts which the player can move in such a way
that his opponents are unable to make any countermove. (Compare Republic.)
And perhaps, too, as regards riches you are of opinion that while facts
remain the same, there are arguments, no matter whether true or false,
which enable the user of them to prove that the wisest and the richest are
one and the same, although he is in the wrong and his opponents are in the
right. There would be nothing strange in this; it would be as if two