|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Cratylus by Plato:
Hermogenes, hastily taken up, but are said to be the result of mature
consideration, although he is described as still a young man. With a
tenacity characteristic of the Heracleitean philosophers, he clings to the
doctrine of the flux. (Compare Theaet.) Of the real Cratylus we know
nothing, except that he is recorded by Aristotle to have been the friend or
teacher of Plato; nor have we any proof that he resembled the likeness of
him in Plato any more than the Critias of Plato is like the real Critias,
or the Euthyphro in this dialogue like the other Euthyphro, the diviner, in
the dialogue which is called after him.
Between these two extremes, which have both of them a sophistical
character, the view of Socrates is introduced, which is in a manner the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tanach:
1_Kings 18: 1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying: 'Go, show thyself unto Ahab, and I will send rain upon the land.'
1_Kings 18: 2 And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And the famine was sore in Samaria.
1_Kings 18: 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. --Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly;
1_Kings 18: 4 for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took a hundred prophets, and hid them fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.--
1_Kings 18: 5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah: 'Go through the land, unto all the springs of water, and unto all the brooks; peradventure we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.'
1_Kings 18: 6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
1_Kings 18: 7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him; and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said: 'Is it thou, my lord Elijah?'
1_Kings 18: 8 And he answered him: 'It is I; go, tell thy lord: Behold, Elijah is here.'
1_Kings 18: 9 And he said: 'Wherein have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me?
1_Kings 18: 10 As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee; and when they said: He is not here, he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, t
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
should fancy I believed in a thing so patently absurd! I would do
nothing that cannot be done smiling. I have a sense of humour,
forsooth! I must know better than my Maker. And it was the same
thing in my marriage,' he added more hoarsely. 'I did not believe
this girl could care for me; I must not intrude; I must preserve the
foppery of my indifference. What an impotent picture!'
'Ay, we have the same blood,' moralised Gotthold. 'You are drawing,
with fine strokes, the character of the born sceptic.'
'Sceptic? - coward!' cried Otto. 'Coward is the word. A
springless, putty-hearted, cowering coward!'
And as the Prince rapped out the words in tones of unusual vigour, a
|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 Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas:
The king signed the order for release, and Treville carried it
away without delay. As he was about to leave the presence, the
cardinal have him a friendly smile, and said, "A perfect harmony
reigns, sire, between the leaders and the soldiers of your
Musketeers, which must be profitable for the service and
honorable to all."
"He will play me some dog's trick or other, and that
immediately," said Treville. "One has never the last word with
such a man. But let us be quick--the king may change his mind in
an hour; and at all events it is more difficult to replace a man
in the Fort l'Eveque or the Bastille who has got out, than to
The Three Musketeers