|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Iliad by Homer:
Far-Darter, most malicious of all gods, and have drawn me away
from the wall, where many another man would have bitten the dust
ere he got within Ilius; you have robbed me of great glory and
have saved the Trojans at no risk to yourself, for you have
nothing to fear, but I would indeed have my revenge if it were in
my power to do so."
On this, with fell intent he made towards the city, and as the
winning horse in a chariot race strains every nerve when he is
flying over the plain, even so fast and furiously did the limbs
of Achilles bear him onwards. King Priam was first to note him as
he scoured the plain, all radiant as the star which men call
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Euthydemus by Plato:
all is, that this art and invention of yours has been so admirably
contrived by you, that in a very short time it can be imparted to any one.
I observed that Ctesippus learned to imitate you in no time. Now this
quickness of attainment is an excellent thing; but at the same time I would
advise you not to have any more public entertainments; there is a danger
that men may undervalue an art which they have so easy an opportunity of
acquiring; the exhibition would be best of all, if the discussion were
confined to your two selves; but if there must be an audience, let him only
be present who is willing to pay a handsome fee;--you should be careful of
this;--and if you are wise, you will also bid your disciples discourse with
no man but you and themselves. For only what is rare is valuable; and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
fine tact, Monsieur, you must be aware that we can't win tricks from
people unless it is their interest to play at cards. I beg you not to
confound me with the vulgar herd of travellers who succeed by humbug
or importunity. I am no longer a commercial traveller. I was one, and
I glory in it; but to-day my mission is of higher importance, and
should place me, in the minds of superior people, among those who
devote themselves to the enlightenment of their country. The most
distinguished bankers in Paris take part in this affair; not
fictitiously, as in some shameful speculations which I call rat-traps.
No, no, nothing of the kind! I should never condescend--never!--to
hawk about such CATCH-FOOLS. No, Monsieur; the most respectable houses
|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 Ballads by Robert Louis Stevenson:
And still he climbed, and came to the top, the place of proof,
And thrust a hand through the flame, and clambered alive on the roof.
But even as he did so, the wind, in a garment of flames and pain,
Wrapped him from head to heel; and the waistcloth parted in twain;
And the living fruit of his loins dropped in the fire below.
About the blazing feast-house clustered the eyes of the foe,
Watching, hand upon weapon, lest ever a soul should flee,
Shading the brow from the glare, straining the neck to see
Only, to leeward, the flames in the wind swept far and wide,
And the forest sputtered on fire; and there might no man abide.
Thither Rahero crept, and dropped from the burning eaves,