|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Critias by Plato:
their empire many things were brought to them from foreign countries, and
the island itself provided most of what was required by them for the uses
of life. In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be
found there, solid as well as fusile, and that which is now only a name and
was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth
in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than
anything except gold. There was an abundance of wood for carpenter's work,
and sufficient maintenance for tame and wild animals. Moreover, there were
a great number of elephants in the island; for as there was provision for
all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes
and rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Somebody's Little Girl by Martha Young:
The lady did not look like Sister Helen Vincula, oh, not at all; but
the veil that she wore was soft and black like that that Sister
Helen Vincula wore. The dress that the lady wore was black also,
but it looked as if it were stiff and very crisp, and not soft like
the dress that Sister Helen Vincula wore. Bessie Bell did not mean
to be rude, but she reached out one tiny hand and took hold of the
lady's dress, just a tiny pinch of it.
Yes, it was very crisp.
Then the lady turned and looked at Bessie Bell.
Then Bessie Bell was still more surprised, for there was something
white under her veil. Not white all round the face like that Sister
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
messages to their poor friends, they bore her to the gates.
Day after day toiled little Bud, cheering the Fairies, who,
angry and disappointed, would not listen to her gentle words,
but turned away and sat alone weeping. They grieved her kind heart
with many cruel words; but patiently she bore with them, and when
they told her they could never perform so hard a task, and must dwell
for ever in the dark forest, she answered gently, that the snow-white
lily must be planted, and watered with repentant tears, before the
robe of innocence could be won; that the sun of love must shine
in their hearts, before the light could return to their dim crowns,
and deeds of kindness must be performed, ere the power would come
|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:
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . .
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. . .