|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pericles by William Shakespeare:
For he's no man on whom perfections wait
That, knowing sin within, will touch the gate,
You are a fair viol, and your sense the strings;
Who, finger'd to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gods to hearken;
But being play'd upon before your time,
Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime.
Good sooth, I care not for you.
Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life,
For that's an article within our law,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
connection, there is less mortar in the interstices, and they are content
to place sentences side by side, leaving their relation to one another to
be gathered from their position or from the context. The difficulty of
preserving the effect of the Greek is increased by the want of adversative
and inferential particles in English, and by the nice sense of tautology
which characterizes all modern languages. We cannot have two 'buts' or two
'fors' in the same sentence where the Greek repeats (Greek). There is a
similar want of particles expressing the various gradations of objective
and subjective thought--(Greek) and the like, which are so thickly
scattered over the Greek page. Further, we can only realize to a very
imperfect degree the common distinction between (Greek), and the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
sometimes you can see the very stone that sunk the well lying at
the bottom. There are long, straight, sloping troughs through
which the water runs like a mill-race. There are huge basins into
which the water rumbles over a ledge, as if some one were pouring
it very steadily out of a pitcher, and from which it glides away
without a ripple, flowing over a smooth pavement of rock which
shelves down from the shallow foot to the deep head of the pool.
The boy wonders how far he dare wade out along that slippery floor.
The water is within an inch of his boot-tops now. But the slope
seems very even, and just beyond his reach a good fish is rising.
Only one step more, and then, like the wicked man in the psalm, his
|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 Apology by Plato:
happened by mere chance. But I see clearly that the time had arrived when
it was better for me to die and be released from trouble; wherefore the
oracle gave no sign. For which reason, also, I am not angry with my
condemners, or with my accusers; they have done me no harm, although they
did not mean to do me any good; and for this I may gently blame them.
Still I have a favour to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would
ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them,
as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything,
more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are
really nothing,--then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring
about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are