|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
impossible to express in language that glory, that light, and
those mysterious blessings, what marvel? For they had not been
mighty and singular, if they had been comprehended by reason and
expressed in words by us who are earthly, and corruptible, and
clothed in this heavy garment of sinful flesh. Holding then such
knowledge in simple faith, believe thou undoubtingly, that these
are no fictions; but by good works be urgent to lay hold on that
immortal kingdom, to which when thou hast attained, thou shalt
have perfect knowledge.
"As touching thy question, How it is that we have heard the words
of the Incarnate God, know thou that we have been taught all that
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Apology by Plato:
youth, he must have corrupted them involuntarily.' But if, as Socrates
argues, all evil is involuntary, then all criminals ought to be admonished
and not punished. In these words the Socratic doctrine of the
involuntariness of evil is clearly intended to be conveyed. Here again, as
in the former instance, the defence of Socrates is untrue practically, but
may be true in some ideal or transcendental sense. The commonplace reply,
that if he had been guilty of corrupting the youth their relations would
surely have witnessed against him, with which he concludes this part of his
defence, is more satisfactory.
Again, when Socrates argues that he must believe in the gods because he
believes in the sons of gods, we must remember that this is a refutation
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
"It's just the sort of damnable vulgarity she's capable of! It's
His wife, without looking up, answered gravely, "I thought so too.
It was for that reason I didn't go. But you must remember that
very few people feel about Mrs. Aubyn as you do--"
Glennard managed to set down his cup with a steady hand, but the
room swung round with him and he dropped into the nearest chair.
"As I do?" he repeated.
"I mean that very few people knew her when she lived in New York.
To most of the women who went to the reading she was a mere name,
|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 Persuasion by Jane Austen:
a note of explanation. An admiral speaks his own consequence,
and, at the same time, can never make a baronet look small.
In all their dealings and intercourse, Sir Walter Elliot must ever
have the precedence.
Nothing could be done without a reference to Elizabeth:
but her inclination was growing so strong for a removal,
that she was happy to have it fixed and expedited by a tenant at hand;
and not a word to suspend decision was uttered by her.
Mr Shepherd was completely empowered to act; and no sooner had
such an end been reached, than Anne, who had been a most attentive listener
to the whole, left the room, to seek the comfort of cool air for her