|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Meno by Plato:
the caricature of a system. They are the ever-varying expression of
Plato's Idealism. The terms used in them are in their substance and
general meaning the same, although they seem to be different. They pass
from the subject to the object, from earth (diesseits) to heaven (jenseits)
without regard to the gulf which later theology and philosophy have made
between them. They are also intended to supplement or explain each other.
They relate to a subject of which Plato himself would have said that 'he
was not confident of the precise form of his own statements, but was strong
in the belief that something of the kind was true.' It is the spirit, not
the letter, in which they agree--the spirit which places the divine above
the human, the spiritual above the material, the one above the many, the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:
present, mostly priests and noblemen of high quality who
clustered in a group at a little distance. Myles knew most of
them at a glance having seen them come and go at Scotland Yard.
But among them all, he singled out only one--the Earl of Alban.
He had not seen that face since he was a little child eight years
old, but now that he beheld it again, it fitted instantly and
vividly into the remembrance of the time of that terrible scene
at Falworth Castle, when he had beheld the then Lord Brookhurst
standing above the dead body of Sir John Dale, with the bloody
mace clinched in his hand. There were the same heavy black brows,
sinister and gloomy, the same hooked nose, the same swarthy
Men of Iron
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dreams & Dust by Don Marquis:
These be neither men nor mists--
Hearken to their chants:
Ever, ever, ever,
Drifting like a blossom
Seaward, with the starlight
Wan upon her bosom--
Ever when the quickened
Heart of night is throbbing,
Ever when the trembling
Tide sets seaward, sobbing,
Shall you see this burden
|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 Elizabeth and her German Garden by Marie Annette Beauchamp:
holding up their skirts with glittering fingers.
Minora wrote a long description of them for a chapter of her
book which is headed Noel,--I saw that much, because she left
it open on the table while she went to talk to Miss Jones.
They were fast friends from the very first, and though it
is said to be natural to take to one's own countrymen,
I am unable altogether to sympathise with such a reason
for sudden affection.
"I wonder what they talk about?" I said to Irais yesterday,
when there was no getting Minora to come to tea, so deeply was she
engaged in conversation with Miss Jones.
Elizabeth and her German Garden