|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:
Bickerstaff might be sauntring thereabouts; because I will assert
nothing here but what I dare attest, and plain matter of fact. My
wife at this fell into a violent disorder; and I must own I was a
little discomposed at the oddness of the accident. In the mean
time one knocks at my door, Betty runs down, and opening, finds a
sober grave person, who modestly enquires if this was Dr.
Partridge's? She taking him for some cautious city-patient, that
came at that time for privacy, shews him into the dining room. As
soon as I could compose myself, I went to him, and was surprized
to find my gentleman mounted on a table with a two-foot rule in
his hand, measuring my walls, and taking the dimensions of the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve
years old, is no saleable commodity, and even when they come to
this age, they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds
and half a crown at most, on the exchange; which cannot turn to
account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of
nutriments and rags having been at least four times that value.
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I
hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance
in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year
A Modest Proposal
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells:
the writing-table. . . .
The stillness continued. What had happened? The desire to peep
became irresistible. Very cautiously Mr. Ledbetter shifted his hand
forward, projected a pioneer finger, and began to lift the valance
immediately next his eye. Nothing broke the stillness. He saw now
the stranger's knees, saw the back of the writing-table, and then--
he was staring at the barrel of a heavy revolver pointed over
the writing-table at his head.
"Come out of that, you scoundrel!" said the voice of the stout
gentleman in a tone of quiet concentration. "Come out. This side,
and now. None of your hanky-panky--come right out, now."
|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 The Large Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther:
cannot discern better than from the words of Christ above quoted: He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Therefore state it most
simply thus, that the power, work, profit, fruit, and end of Baptism is
this, namely, to save. For no one is baptized in order that he may
become a prince, but, as the words declare, that he be saved. But to be
saved. we know. is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death,
and the devil, and to enter into the kingdom of Christ, and to live
with Him forever.
Here you see again how highly and precious we should esteem Baptism,
because in it we obtain such an unspeakable treasure, which also
indicates sufficiently that it cannot be ordinary mere water. For mere