|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
I have seen to-day hath fired my heart with such love as these."
The king was astonished at the saying of the boy, to think how
masterful a thing the love of women is. Therefore think not to
subdue thy son in any other way than this."
The king heard this tale gladly; and there were brought before
him some chosen damsels, young and exceeding beautiful. These he
bedizened with dazzling ornaments and trained in all winsome
ways: and then he turned out of the palace all his son's squires
and serving men, and set these women in their stead. These
flocked around the prince, embraced him, and provoked him to
filthy wantonness, by their walk and talk inviting him to
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:
the words of Pausanias in the Symposium, 'there would be one answer to this
question: the practice and feeling of some foreign countries appears to be
more doubtful.' Suppose a modern Socrates, in defiance of the received
notions of society and the sentimental literature of the day, alone against
all the writers and readers of novels, to suggest this enquiry, would not
the younger 'part of the world be ready to take off its coat and run at him
might and main?' (Republic.) Yet, if like Peisthetaerus in Aristophanes,
he could persuade the 'birds' to hear him, retiring a little behind a
rampart, not of pots and dishes, but of unreadable books, he might have
something to say for himself. Might he not argue, 'that a rational being
should not follow the dictates of passion in the most important act of his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Ebb-Tide by Stevenson & Osbourne:
supplication was poured forth, inarticulate as himself, earnest
as death and judgment.
'Thou Gawd seest me!' continued Huish. 'I remember I had
that written in my Bible. I remember the Bible too, all about
Abinadab and parties. Well, Gawd!' apostrophising the meridian,
'you're goin' to see a rum start presently, I promise you
The captain bounded.
'I'll have no blasphemy!' he cried, 'no blasphemy in my boat.'
'All right, cap,' said Huish. 'Anythink to oblige. Any other
topic you would like to sudgest, the rynegyge, the lightnin' rod,
|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 Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther:
faith things which they hold to be the greatest sins. We must say
of them, "Let them alone; they be blind leaders of the blind"
(Matt. xv. 14). In this way Paul also would not have Titus
circumcised, though these men urged it; and Christ defended the
Apostles, who had plucked ears of corn on the Sabbath day; and
many like instances.
Or else we may meet with simple-minded and ignorant persons, weak
in the faith, as the Apostle calls them, who are as yet unable to
apprehend that liberty of faith, even if willing to do so. These
we must spare, lest they should be offended. We must bear with
their infirmity, till they shall be more fully instructed. For