|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Augsburg Confession by Philip Melanchthon:
bring to pass that the vow annuls the commandment of God. The
Canons teach that the right of the superior is excepted in
every vow; [that vows are not binding against the decision of
the Pope;] much less, therefore, are these vows of force which
are against the commandments of God.
Now, if the obligation of vows could not be changed for any
cause whatever, the Roman Pontiffs could never have given
dispensation for it is not lawful for man to annul an
obligation which is simply divine. But the Roman Pontiffs have
prudently judged that leniency is to be observed in this
obligation, and therefore we read that many times they have
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Simple Soul by Gustave Flaubert:
marble mantelpiece, in Louis XV. style, stood a tapestry armchair. The
clock represented a temple of Vesta; and the whole room smelled musty,
as it was on a lower level than the garden.
On the first floor was Madame's bed-chamber, a large room papered in a
flowered design and containing the portrait of Monsieur dressed in the
costume of a dandy. It communicated with a smaller room, in which
there were two little cribs, without any mattresses. Next, came the
parlour (always closed), filled with furniture covered with sheets.
Then a hall, which led to the study, where books and papers were piled
on the shelves of a book-case that enclosed three quarters of the big
black desk. Two panels were entirely hidden under pen-and-ink
A Simple Soul
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Door in the Wall, et. al. by H. G. Wells:
do anything right."
"I know," wept Medina-sarote. "But he's better than he was.
He's getting better. And he's strong, dear father, and
kind--stronger and kinder than any other man in the world. And he
loves me--and, father, I love him."
Old Yacob was greatly distressed to find her inconsolable,
and, besides--what made it more distressing--he liked Nunez for
many things. So he went and sat in the windowless council-chamber
with the other elders and watched the trend of the talk, and said,
at the proper time, "He's better than he was. Very likely, some
day, we shall find him as sane as ourselves."
|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 Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:
evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, hopeth all things, endureth all
things, and wisheth well to all men. Where you feel this quality
you can let yourself go, in the ease of hearty talk.
FREEDOM is the second note that Montaigne strikes, and it is
essential to the harmony of talking. Very careful, prudent, precise
persons are seldom entertaining in familiar speech. They are like
tennis players in too fine clothes. They think more of their
costume than of the game.
A mania for absolutely correct pronunciation is fatal. The people
who are afflicted with this painful ailment are as anxious about
their utterance as dyspeptics about their diet. They move through