|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson:
bad; I have not thought to strain too much for continuity; so
this part be alive, I shall be content. But there's no doubt
David seems to have changed his style, de'il ha'e him! And
much I care, if the tale travel!
FRIDAY, FEB. ?? 19TH?
Two incidents to-day which I must narrate. After lunch, it
was raining pitilessly; we were sitting in my mother's
bedroom, and I was reading aloud Kinglake's Charge of the
Light Brigade, and we had just been all seized by the horses
aligning with Lord George Paget, when a figure appeared on
the verandah; a little, slim, small figure of a lad, with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
not unknown among the followers of Plato. The Eryxias was doubted by the
ancients themselves: yet it may claim the distinction of being, among all
Greek or Roman writings, the one which anticipates in the most striking
manner the modern science of political economy and gives an abstract form
to some of its principal doctrines.
For the translation of these two dialogues I am indebted to my friend and
secretary, Mr. Knight.
That the Dialogue which goes by the name of the Second Alcibiades is a
genuine writing of Plato will not be maintained by any modern critic, and
was hardly believed by the ancients themselves. The dialectic is poor and
weak. There is no power over language, or beauty of style; and there is a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
Inflamed wrath in glowing breast.--BUTLER.
The knight and the friar arriving at Arlingford Castle,
and leaving their horses in the care of lady Matilda's groom,
with whom the friar was in great favour, were ushered
into a stately apartment, where they found the baron alone,
flourishing an enormous carving-knife over a brother baron--of beef--
with as much vehemence of action as if he were cutting down an enemy.
The baron was a gentleman of a fierce and choleric temperament:
he was lineally descended from the redoubtable Fierabras
of Normandy, who came over to England with the Conqueror,
|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 Phaedo by Plato:
these words of mine, with which I was comforting you and myself, have had,
as I perceive, no effect upon Crito. And therefore I want you to be surety
for me to him now, as at the trial he was surety to the judges for me: but
let the promise be of another sort; for he was surety for me to the judges
that I would remain, and you must be my surety to him that I shall not
remain, but go away and depart; and then he will suffer less at my death,
and not be grieved when he sees my body being burned or buried. I would
not have him sorrow at my hard lot, or say at the burial, Thus we lay out
Socrates, or, Thus we follow him to the grave or bury him; for false words
are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. Be of
good cheer, then, my dear Crito, and say that you are burying my body only,