|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gorgias by Plato:
was not allowable. But to return to our argument:--Does not a man cease
from thirsting and from the pleasure of drinking at the same moment?
SOCRATES: And if he is hungry, or has any other desire, does he not cease
from the desire and the pleasure at the same moment?
CALLICLES: Very true.
SOCRATES: Then he ceases from pain and pleasure at the same moment?
SOCRATES: But he does not cease from good and evil at the same moment, as
you have admitted: do you still adhere to what you said?
CALLICLES: Yes, I do; but what is the inference?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:
up some occupation. After all, why shouldn't you be an actress
again if it is your vocation?"
"Your tone and manner suggest that you are a victim. I don't like
that, my dear; it is your own fault. Remember, you began with
falling out with people and methods, but you have done nothing to
make either better. You did not struggle with evil, but were cast
down by it, and you are not the victim of the struggle, but of
your own impotence. Well, of course you were young and
inexperienced then; now it may all be different. Yes, really, go
on the stage. You will work, you will serve a sacred art."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Footnote to History by Robert Louis Stevenson:
suspect the hand of Germany. No one is more swift to smell
trickery than a Samoan; and the thought, that, under the long,
bland, benevolent sentences of the Berlin Act, some trickery lay
lurking, filled him with the breath of opposition. Laupepa seems
never to have been a popular king. Mataafa, on the other hand,
holds an unrivalled position in the eyes of his fellow-countrymen;
he was the hero of the war, he had lain with them in the bush, he
had borne the heat and burthen of the day; they began to claim that
he should enjoy more largely the fruits of victory; his exclusion
was believed to be a stroke of German vengeance, his elevation to
the kingship was looked for as the fitting crown and copestone of
|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 Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
those fortunate accidents which happen only to pretty women, it was a
moment when all her beauties shone with peculiar lustre, due perhaps
to the wax-lights, to the charming simplicity of her dress, to the
ineffable atmosphere of elegance that surrounded her. One must needs
have studied the transitions of an evening in a Parisian salon to
appreciate the imperceptible lights and shades which color a woman's
face and vary it. There comes a moment when, content with her toilet,
pleased with her own wit, delighted to be admired, and feeling herself
the queen of a salon full of remarkable men who smile to her, the
Parisian woman reaches a full consciousness of her grace and charm;
her beauty is enhanced by the looks she gathers in,--a mute homage