|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
the Christian Church, under their most sacred symbols, become
literally subordinate to the praise, and are only to be understood
by the aid, of one dear Florentine maiden.
I tell you truly that, as I strive more with this strange lethargy
and trance in myself, and awake to the meaning and power of life, it
seems daily more amazing to me that men such as these should dare to
play with the most precious truths, (or the most deadly untruths,)
by which the whole human race listening to them could be informed,
or deceived;--all the world their audiences for ever, with pleased
ear, and passionate heart;--and yet, to this submissive infinitude
of souls, and evermore succeeding and succeeding multitude, hungry
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Edingburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Two generations back they still stood dark and empty;
people avoided them as they passed by; the boldest
schoolboy only shouted through the keyhole and made off;
for within, it was supposed, the plague lay ambushed like
a basilisk, ready to flow forth and spread blain and
pustule through the city. What a terrible next-door
neighbour for superstitious citizens! A rat scampering
within would send a shudder through the stoutest heart.
Here, if you like, was a sanitary parable, addressed by
our uncleanly forefathers to their own neglect.
And then we have Major Weir; for although even his