|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Treatise on Parents and Children by George Bernard Shaw:
beloved, because the child is so unmistakably sincere in them.
Our Abandoned Mothers
Take a very common instance of this agonizing incompatibility. A
widow brings up her son to manhood. He meets a strange woman, and
goes off with and marries her, leaving his mother desolate. It does
not occur to him that this is at all hard on her: he does it as a
matter of course, and actually expects his mother to receive, on terms
of special affection, the woman for whom she has been abandoned. If
he shewed any sense of what he was doing, any remorse; if he mingled
his tears with hers and asked her not to think too hardly of him
because he had obeyed the inevitable destiny of a man to leave his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
white as snow, his large and round black eyes with their shaggy brows,
his hanging ears and tawny hair,--seemed to belong far less to our
fine Caucasian race than to a breed of herbivorous animals. The total
absence of all the usual characteristics of the social man made that
bare head still more remarkable. The face, bronzed by the sun (its
angular outlines presenting a sort of vague likeness to the granite
which forms the soil of the region), was the only visible portion of
the body of this singular being. From the neck down he was wrapped in
a "sarrau" or smock, a sort of russet linen blouse, coarser in texture
than that of the trousers of the less fortunate conscripts. This
"sarrau," in which an antiquary would have recognized the "saye," or
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from On Horsemanship by Xenophon:
 Lit. "the swallow."
 Al. "a knock-kneed person." See Stonehenge, "The Horse" (ed.
1892), pp. 3, 9.
 Or, "and he is right."
 Cf. Virg. "Georg." iii. 88; Hor. "Epod." xvi. 12.
And now that we have begun with the feet, let us ascend from this
point to the rest of the body. The bones above the hoof and below
the fetlock must not be too straight, like those of a goat; through
not being properly elastic, legs of this type will jar the rider,
and are more liable to become inflamed. On the other hand, these bones
must not be too low, or else the fetlock will be abraded or lacerated
|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 Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas:
surveyed the crowd with a certain impatience, evidently annoyed
by their remaining undispersed.
"Well, how is it with this madman?" exclaimed he, turning round
as the noise of the door announced the entrance of the host, who
came in to inquire if he was unhurt.
"Your excellency is safe and sound?" asked the host.
"Oh, yes! Perfectly safe and sound, my good host; and I wish to
know what has become of our young man."
"He is better," said the host, "he fainted quite away."
"Indeed!" said the gentleman.
"But before he fainted, he collected all his strength to
The Three Musketeers