|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:
have been forged, or to have received an erroneous designation, than longer
ones; and some kinds of composition, such as epistles or panegyrical
orations, are more liable to suspicion than others; those, again, which
have a taste of sophistry in them, or the ring of a later age, or the
slighter character of a rhetorical exercise, or in which a motive or some
affinity to spurious writings can be detected, or which seem to have
originated in a name or statement really occurring in some classical
author, are also of doubtful credit; while there is no instance of any
ancient writing proved to be a forgery, which combines excellence with
length. A really great and original writer would have no object in
fathering his works on Plato; and to the forger or imitator, the 'literary
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Virginian by Owen Wister:
Now the Ogdens were birds of Molly's feather. They wore Eastern,
and not Western, plumage, and their song was a different song
from that which the Bear Creek birds sang. To be sure, the piping
of little George Taylor was full of hopeful interest; and many
other strains, both striking and melodious, were lifted in Cattle
Land, and had given pleasure to Molly's ear. But although
Indians, and bears, and mavericks, make worthy themes for song,
these are not the only songs in the world. Therefore the Eastern
warblings of the Ogdens sounded doubly sweet to Molly Wood. Such
words as Newport, Bar Harbor, and Tiffany's thrilled her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Poems of Goethe, Bowring, Tr. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
The expiring brand;
Each one put it hastily
ln his neighbour's hand.
Dorilis then gave it me,
With a scoffing jest;
Sudden into flame it broke,
By my fingers press'd.
And it singed my eyes and face,
Set my breast on fire;
Then above my head the blaze
Mounted ever higher.
|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 Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare:
He hath some meaning in his mad attire.
We will persuade him, be it possible,
To put on better ere he go to church.
I'll after him and see the event of this.
[Exeunt BAPTISTA, GREMIO and ATTENDENTS.]
But to her love concerneth us to add
Her father's liking; which to bring to pass,
As I before imparted to your worship,
The Taming of the Shrew