|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Aeneid by Virgil:
Then, on to-morrow's dawn, your care employ,
To search the land, and where the cities lie,
And what the men; but give this day to joy.
Now pour to Jove; and, after Jove is blest,
Call great Anchises to the genial feast:
Crown high the goblets with a cheerful draught;
Enjoy the present hour; adjourn the future thought."
Thus having said, the hero bound his brows
With leafy branches, then perform'd his vows;
Adoring first the genius of the place,
Then Earth, the mother of the heav'nly race,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
complexity of the moral life, and the mysteriousness of the way
in which facts and ideals are interwoven.
Perfect conduct is a relation between three terms: the actor,
the objects for which he acts, and the recipients of the action.
In order that conduct should be abstractly perfect, all three
terms, intention, execution, and reception, should be suited to
one another. The best intention will fail if it either work by
false means or address itself to the wrong recipient. Thus no
critic or estimator of the value of conduct can confine himself
to the actor's animus alone, apart from the other elements of the
performance. As there is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moral Emblems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
He hears the river plunge and roar
As roars the angry mob;
He feels the solid building quake,
The trusty timbers throb.
All night beside the fire he cowers:
He hears the rafters jar:
O why is he not in a proper house
As decent people are!
The floors are all aslant, he sees,
The doors are all a-jam;
And from the hook above his head
|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 Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Sir John Mandeville:
men go to Saint James, or other holy pilgrimages. And many folk
that come from far lands to seek that idol for the great devotion
that they have, they look never upward, but evermore down to the
earth, for dread to see anything about them that should let them of
their devotion. And some there be that go on pilgrimage to this
idol, that bear knives in their hands, that be made full keen and
sharp; and always as they go, they smite themselves in their arms
and in their legs and in their thighs with many hideous wounds; and
so they shed their blood for love of that idol. And they say, that
he is blessed and holy, that dieth so for love of his god. And
other there be that lead their children for to slay, to make