|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:
nurtured on the plainest food attainable, with the scantiest addition
of meat or other condiments; whilst as to wine they train them either
to total abstinence or to take it highly diluted with water. And in
imitation, as it were, of the handicraft type, since the majority of
artificers are sedentary, we, the rest of the Hellenes, are content
that our girls should sit quietly and work wools. That is all we
demand of them. But how are we to expect that women nurtured in this
fashion should produce a splendid offspring?
 Cf. a fragment of Critias cited by Clement, "Stromata," vi. p.
741, 6; Athen. x. 432, 433; see "A Fragment of Xenophon" (?), ap.
Stob. "Flor." 88. 14, translated by J. Hookham Frere, "Theognis
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:
of the Philebus, we have a difficulty in distinguishing the different
aspects of them from one another, or defining the point at which the human
passes into the divine.
First, the eternal will of God in this world and in another,--justice,
holiness, wisdom, love, without succession of acts (ouch e genesis
prosestin), which is known to us in part only, and reverenced by us as
Secondly, human perfection, or the fulfilment of the will of God in this
world, and co-operation with his laws revealed to us by reason and
experience, in nature, history, and in our own minds.
Thirdly, the elements of human perfection,--virtue, knowledge, and right
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles:
And so I slew them every one. But if
Betwixt this stranger there was aught in common
With Laius, who more miserable than I,
What mortal could you find more god-abhorred?
Wretch whom no sojourner, no citizen
May harbor or address, whom all are bound
To harry from their homes. And this same curse
Was laid on me, and laid by none but me.
Yea with these hands all gory I pollute
The bed of him I slew. Say, am I vile?
Am I not utterly unclean, a wretch
|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 Confessio Amantis by John Gower:
Wepende he keste hire ofte sithe,
So was his herte al overcome;
For thogh his Moder were come
Fro deth to lyve out of the grave,
He mihte nomor wonder have
Than he hath whan that he hire sih.
With that hire oghne lord cam nyh
And is to themperour obeied;
Bot whan the fortune is bewreied, 1530
How that Constance is come aboute,
So hard an herte was non oute,