|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Democracy In America, Volume 2 by Alexis de Toqueville:
affairs. The lot of the Americans is singular: they have derived
from the aristocracy of England the notion of private rights and
the taste for local freedom; and they have been able to retain
both the one and the other, because they have had no aristocracy
If at all times education enables men to defend their
independence, this is most especially true in democratic ages.
When all men are alike, it is easy to found a sole and
all-powerful government, by the aid of mere instinct. But men
require much intelligence, knowledge, and art to organize and to
maintain secondary powers under similar circumstances, and to
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Plutarch's Lives by A. H. Clough:
necessity fell, as it were, from his hands, to go with her to
the seashore of Canopus and Taphosiris, and play about. And in
the end, like another Paris, he left the battle to fly to her
arms; or rather, to say the truth, Paris fled when he was
already beaten; Antony fled first, and, to follow Cleopatra,
abandoned his victory.
There was no law to prevent Demetrius from marrying several
wives; from the time of Philip and Alexander, it had become
usual with Macedonian kings, and he did no more than was done by
Lysimachus and Ptolemy. And those he married he treated
honorably. But Antony, first of all, in marrying two wives at
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Riverman by Stewart Edward White:
"Don't interview for a cent, does he?" grinned Orde.
"Oh, Mr. Orde! Perhaps you--"
"Don't you think we'd better lend a hand below?" suggested Orde,
pointing to the beach.
The wild and picturesque work of rescue was under way. The line had
been successfully brought to the left of the lighthouse. To it had
been attached the rope, and to that the heavy cable. These the crew
of the schooner had dragged out and made fast to a mast. The shore
end passed over a tall scissors. When the cable was tightened the
breeches buoy was put into commission, and before long the first
member of the crew was hauled ashore, plunging in and out of the
|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 Confessio Amantis by John Gower:
Of which an Alter mad ther was
Unto Echates the goddesse
Of art magique and the maistresse,
And eft an other to Juvente,
As sche which dede hir hole entente.
Tho tok sche fieldwode and verveyne,
Of herbes ben noght betre tueine, 4040
Of which anon withoute let
These alters ben aboute set:
Tuo sondri puttes faste by
Sche made, and with that hastely