|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Crowd by Gustave le Bon:
good arguments, but only arguments, the chances are that he will
only obtain a hearing. A Deputy who is a psychologist of
insight, M. Desaubes, has recently traced in the following lines
the portrait of the Deputy who lacks prestige:--
"When he takes his place in the tribune he draws a document from
his portfolio, spreads it out methodically before him, and makes
a start with assurance.
"He flatters himself that he will implant in the minds of his
audience the conviction by which he is himself animated. He has
weighed and reweighed his arguments; he is well primed with
figures and proofs; he is certain he will convince his hearers.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne:
I thought that a mountainous region was succeeding the long plains;
and accordingly, after a few evolutions of the Nautilus, I saw the southerly
horizon blocked by a high wall which seemed to close all exit.
Its summit evidently passed the level of the ocean. It must be a continent,
or at least an island--one of the Canaries, or of the Cape Verde Islands.
The bearings not being yet taken, perhaps designedly, I was ignorant
of our exact position. In any case, such a wall seemed to me to mark
the limits of that Atlantis, of which we had in reality passed over only
the smallest part.
Much longer should I have remained at the window admiring
the beauties of sea and sky, but the panels closed. At this moment
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:
down on a bench near the second window.
'How's that?' asked the eldest brother.
'I just don't drink,' replied Nikita without lifting his eyes
but looking askance at his scanty beard and moustache and
getting the icicles out of them.
'It's not good for him,' said Vasili Andreevich, munching a
cracknel after emptying his glass.
'Well, then, have some tea,' said the kindly old hostess. 'You
must be chilled through, good soul. Why are you women dawdling
so with the samovar?'
'It is ready,' said one of the young women, and after flicking
Master and Man
|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 Master of the World by Jules Verne:
"Then you didn't get inside?" said he.
"No," responded Mr. Smith, "and I believe that the inside exists only
in the imagination of our country folk."
At half past eight our carriage drew up before the house of the Mayor
of Pleasant Garden, where we passed the night. While I strove vainly
to sleep, I asked myself if I should not stop there in the village
and organize a new ascent. But what better chance had it of
succeeding than the first? The wisest course was, doubtless, to
return to Washington and consult Mr. Ward.
So, the next day, having rewarded our two guides, I took leave of Mr.
Smith at Morganton, and that same evening left by train for