|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Alexandria and her Schools by Charles Kingsley:
neither. My only hope of escaping delicate ground lies in the curious
fact, that rightly or wrongly, the form in which Christianity presented
itself to the old Alexandrian thinkers was so utterly different from the
popular conception of it in modern England, that one may very likely be
able to tell what little one knows about it, almost without mentioning a
single doctrine which now influences the religious world.
But far greater is my fear, that to a modern British auditory, trained
in the school of Locke, much of ancient thought, heathen as well as
Christian, may seem so utterly the product of the imagination, so
utterly without any corresponding reality in the universe, as to look
like mere unintelligible madness. Still, I must try; only entreating my
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson:
of the argument, the neatness of the fabric must not suffer,
or the artist has been proved unequal to his design. And, on
the other hand, no form of words must be selected, no knot
must be tied among the phrases, unless knot and word be
precisely what is wanted to forward and illuminate the
argument; for to fail in this is to swindle in the game. The
genius of prose rejects the CHEVILLE no less emphatically
than the laws of verse; and the CHEVILLE, I should perhaps
explain to some of my readers, is any meaningless or very
watered phrase employed to strike a balance in the sound.
Pattern and argument live in each other; and it is by the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Child of Storm by H. Rider Haggard:
hut-fellow. Go you and watch, and afterwards, when you have an hour to
spare, come and tell me what happens--that is, if I do not chance to be
there to see for myself."
"Is Saduko well?" I asked to change the subject, for I did not wish to
become privy to the plots that filled the air.
"I am told that his tree grows great, that it overshadows all the royal
kraal. I think that Mameena wishes to sleep in the shade of it. And
now you are weary, and so am I. Go back to your wagons, Macumazahn, for
I have nothing more to say to you to-night. But be sure to return and
tell me what chances at Panda's kraal. Or, as I have said, perhaps I
shall meet you there. Who knows, who knows?"
Child of Storm
|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 Memorabilia by Xenophon:
state the matter more explicitly myself."
There was once in the city a fair woman named Theodote. She was not
only fair, but ready to consort with any suitor who might win her
favour. Now it chanced that some one of the company mentioned her,
saying that her beauty beggared description. "So fair is she," he
added, "that painters flock to draw her portrait, to whom, within the
limits of decorum, she displays the marvels of her beauty." "Then
there is nothing for it but to go and see her," answered Socrates,
"since to comprehend by hearsay what is beyond description is clearly
impossible." Then he who had introduced the matter replied: "Be quick