|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Essays & Lectures by Oscar Wilde:
self-denying motives among the knights of the Trojan crusade,
because he saw none in the faction-loving Athenian of his own day,
is to show an entire ignorance of the various characteristics of
human nature developing under different circumstances, and to deny
to a primitive chieftain like Agamemnon that authority founded on
opinion, to which we give the name of divine right, is to fall into
an historical error quite as gross as attributing to Atreus the
courting of the populace ([Greek text which cannot be reproduced])
with a view to the Mycenean throne.
The general method of historical criticism pursued by Thucydides
having been thus indicated, it remains to proceed more into detail
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:
him again in my life. His passage across my field of vision was
like that of other figures of that time: not to be forgotten, a
little fantastic, infinitely enlightening for my contempt,
darkening for my memory which struggles still with the clear lights
and the ugly shadows of those unforgotten days.
It was past four o'clock before I left the house, together with
Mills. Mr. Blunt, still in his riding costume, escorted us to the
very door. He asked us to send him the first fiacre we met on our
way to town. "It's impossible to walk in this get-up through the
streets," he remarked, with his brilliant smile.
The Arrow of Gold
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The United States Bill of Rights:
unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising
in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service
in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for
the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;
nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district
wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have
|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 Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln:
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead,
who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power
to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember,
what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining
before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion
to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . .
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . .
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . .