|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:
alehouse, the Three Pigeons.
Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning,
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives GENUS a better discerning.
Let them brag of their heathenish gods,
Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians,
Their Quis, and their Quaes, and their Quods,
They're all but a parcel of Pigeons.
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
She Stoops to Conquer
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:
Bushman sat over some burning coals that had been raked from it, cooking
meat. Stretched on the ground was an Englishman, dressed in a blouse, and
with a heavy, sullen face. On the stone beside him was Dirk, the
Hottentot, sharpening a bowie knife.
She held her breath. Not a cony in all the rocks was so still.
"They can never find me here," she said; and she knelt, and listened to
every word they said. She could hear it all.
"You may have all the money," said the Bushman; "but I want the cask of
brandy. I will set the roof alight in six places, for a Dutchman burnt my
mother once alive in a hut, with three children."
"You are sure there is no one else on the farm?" said the navvy.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
understand, and the ridiculous interpretation of Homer, are entirely in the
spirit of Plato (compare Protag; Ion; Apol.). The characters are ill-
drawn. Socrates assumes the 'superior person' and preaches too much, while
Alcibiades is stupid and heavy-in-hand. There are traces of Stoic
influence in the general tone and phraseology of the Dialogue (compare opos
melesei tis...kaka: oti pas aphron mainetai): and the writer seems to
have been acquainted with the 'Laws' of Plato (compare Laws). An incident
from the Symposium is rather clumsily introduced, and two somewhat
hackneyed quotations (Symp., Gorg.) recur. The reference to the death of
Archelaus as having occurred 'quite lately' is only a fiction, probably
suggested by the Gorgias, where the story of Archelaus is told, and a
|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 The Odyssey by Homer:
herein imagine some new device against us. For always
heretofore the gods appear manifest amongst us, whensoever
we offer glorious hecatombs, and they feast by our side,
sitting at the same board; yea, and even if a wayfarer
going all alone has met with them, they use no disguise,
since we are near of kin to them, even as are the Cyclopes
and the wild tribes of the Giants.'
And Odysseus of many counsels answered him, saying:
'Alcinous, that thought be far from thee! for I bear no
likeness either in form or fashion to the deathless gods,
who keep wide heaven, but to men that die. Whomsoever ye