|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling:
"Ay, but I lack feet," said Kaa; "and since this is the custom
of all my people, I do not find it strange. Does thy skin never
feel old and harsh?"
"Then go I and wash, Flathead; but, it is true, in the great
heats I have wished I could slough my skin without pain, and
"I wash, and ALSO I take off my skin. How looks the new coat?"
Mowgli ran his hand down the diagonal checkerings of the immense
back. "The Turtle is harder-backed, but not so gay," he said
judgmatically. "The Frog, my name-bearer, is more gay, but not
so hard. It is very beautiful to see--like the mottling in the
The Second Jungle Book
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
of poets, as Homer, Hesiod, and Simonides, some, of hierophants and
prophets, as Orpheus and Musaeus, and some, as I observe, even under the
name of gymnastic-masters, like Iccus of Tarentum, or the more recently
celebrated Herodicus, now of Selymbria and formerly of Megara, who is a
first-rate Sophist. Your own Agathocles pretended to be a musician, but
was really an eminent Sophist; also Pythocleides the Cean; and there were
many others; and all of them, as I was saying, adopted these arts as veils
or disguises because they were afraid of the odium which they would incur.
But that is not my way, for I do not believe that they effected their
purpose, which was to deceive the government, who were not blinded by them;
and as to the people, they have no understanding, and only repeat what
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Night and Day by Virginia Woolf:
He seemed to argue as fiercely with her as if she were his brother.
They were alike, however, in believing that it behooved them to take
in hand the repair and reconstruction of the fabric of England. They
agreed in thinking that nature has not been generous in the endowment
of our councilors. They agreed, unconsciously, in a mute love for the
muddy field through which they tramped, with eyes narrowed close by
the concentration of their minds. At length they drew breath, let the
argument fly away into the limbo of other good arguments, and, leaning
over a gate, opened their eyes for the first time and looked about
them. Their feet tingled with warm blood and their breath rose in
steam around them. The bodily exercise made them both feel more direct
|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 Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
produced a good impression. The queen-mother is about to be sent back
to Florence, and Monsieur de Conde will no doubt be brought to trial.
Therefore, believe me, humble folks ought to attach themselves to the
great men who are in power. Tell me all; and you will find your profit
"Alas, monsieur," replied Christophe; "I have nothing to tell. I told
all I know to Messieurs de Guise in the queen's chamber. Chaudieu
persuaded me to put those papers under the eyes of the queen-mother;
assuring me that they concerned the peace of the kingdom."
"You have never seen the Prince de Conde?"