|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pathology of Lying, Etc. by William and Mary Healy:
them, had been practiced by others on her.
We were informed later that much indignation at our report to the
judge was expressed by the crowd in attendance at the trial. The
girl's first story was so well told that many had been
irrevocably convinced of the utter guilt of the father.
The father himself, who was brought to us in the course of our
study of the case, was rather a low type in appearance. He was a
poor earner, evidently had earlier been alcoholic, a small
whining figure with tears in his eyes. His appearance would
prejudice against him. The brother, on the contrary, made an
unusually good impression. He had the best of recommendations.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
in reference to this old picture. One of the wildest, and at the
same time the best accredited, accounts, stated it to be an
original and authentic portrait of the Evil One, taken at a witch
meeting near Salem; and that its strong and terrible resemblance
had been confirmed by several of the confessing wizards and
witches, at their trial, in open court. It was likewise affirmed
that a familiar spirit or demon abode behind the blackness of the
picture, and had shown himself, at seasons of public calamity, to
more than one of the royal governors. Shirley, for instance, had
beheld this ominous apparition, on the eve of General
Abercrombie's shameful and bloody defeat under the walls of
Twice Told Tales
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Ebb-Tide by Stevenson & Osbourne:
chance to be observed, pulled with extreme slowness. The isle
shook before them like a place incandescent; on the face of the
lagoon blinding copper suns, no bigger than sixpences, danced
and stabbed them in the eyeballs; there went up from sand and
sea, and even from the boat, a glare of scathing brightness; and
as they could only peer abroad from between closed lashes, the
excess of light seemed to be changed into a sinister darkness,
comparable to that of a thundercloud before it bursts.
The captain had come upon this errand for any one of a
dozen reasons, the last of which was desire for its success.
Superstition rules all men; semi-ignorant and gross natures, like
|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 Euthyphro by Plato:
and feeling. He means to say that the words 'loved of the gods' express an
attribute only, and not the essence of piety.
Then follows the third and last definition, 'Piety is a part of justice.'
Thus far Socrates has proceeded in placing religion on a moral foundation.
He is seeking to realize the harmony of religion and morality, which the
great poets Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Pindar had unconsciously anticipated,
and which is the universal want of all men. To this the soothsayer adds
the ceremonial element, 'attending upon the gods.' When further
interrogated by Socrates as to the nature of this 'attention to the gods,'
he replies, that piety is an affair of business, a science of giving and
asking, and the like. Socrates points out the anthropomorphism of these