|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
There is no reason to suppose that in all this Plato is depicting an
imaginary Protagoras; he seems to be showing us the teaching of the
Sophists under the milder aspect under which he once regarded them. Nor is
there any reason to doubt that Socrates is equally an historical character,
paradoxical, ironical, tiresome, but seeking for the unity of virtue and
knowledge as for a precious treasure; willing to rest this even on a
calculation of pleasure, and irresistible here, as everywhere in Plato, in
his intellectual superiority.
The aim of Socrates, and of the Dialogue, is to show the unity of virtue.
In the determination of this question the identity of virtue and knowledge
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:
An impious road to realms of thought profane;
But 'tis that same religion oftener far
Hath bred the foul impieties of men:
As once at Aulis, the elected chiefs,
Foremost of heroes, Danaan counsellors,
Defiled Diana's altar, virgin queen,
With Agamemnon's daughter, foully slain.
She felt the chaplet round her maiden locks
And fillets, fluttering down on either cheek,
And at the altar marked her grieving sire,
The priests beside him who concealed the knife,
Of The Nature of Things
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lucile by Owen Meredith:
I record them. Sit! Now then, your mission?"
Paused silent. The General eyed her anon
More keenly. His aspect grew troubled. A change
Darken'd over his features. He mutter'd "Strange! strange!
Any face should so strongly remind me of HER!
Fool! again the delirium, the dream! does it stir?
Does it move as of old? Psha!
"Sit, Sister! I wait
Your answer, my time halts but hurriedly. State
The cause why you seek me."
|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 Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
their prize-money; then as soon as we get our own money in hand we
can talk about overhauling and outfitting the 'Bertha.'"
Moran refused to accompany him ashore and into the Lifeboat
Station. Roofed houses were an object of suspicion to her.
Already she had begun to be uneasy at the distant sight of the
city of San Francisco, Nob, Telegraph, Russian, and Rincon hills,
all swarming with buildings and grooved with streets; even the
land-locked harbor fretted her. Wilbur could see she felt
imprisoned, confined. When he had pointed out the Palace Hotel to
her--a vast gray cube in the distance, overtopping the surrounding
roofs--she had sworn under her breath.