|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:
and in 1444, just four years before Villon joined the
University, it seems to have been taken as the average wage
for a day's manual labour. (1) In short, it cannot have been
a very profuse allowance to keep a sharp-set lad in breakfast
and supper for seven mortal days; and Villon's share of the
cakes and pastry and general good cheer, to which he is never
weary of referring, must have been slender from the first.
(1) BOURGEOIS, pp. 627, 636, and 725.
The educational arrangements of the University of Paris were,
to our way of thinking, somewhat incomplete. Worldly and
monkish elements were presented in a curious confusion, which
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Myths and Myth-Makers by John Fiske:
was struck in the hut, she saw, to her dismay, that it was her
brother, and, without waiting to learn any more, she took to
her heels. He started in hot pursuit, and so they ran till
they got to the end of the world,--the jumping-off
place,--when they both jumped into the sky. There the Moon
still chases his sister, the Sun; and every now and then he
turns his sooty cheek toward the earth, when he becomes so
dark that you cannot see him.
 Tylor, Early History of Mankind, p. 327.
Another story, which I cite from Mr. Tylor, shows that Malays,
as well as Indo-Europeans, have conceived of the clouds as
Myths and Myth-Makers
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry:
which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions
at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself
as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty
toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope.
We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the
song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part
of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?
Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not,
and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their
temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost,
|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 Mansion by Henry van Dyke:
the long run."
"I can see it already, sir, and the way you describe it looks
amazingly wise and prudent. In other words, we must cast our
the waters in large loaves, carried by sound ships marked with
the owner's name, so that the return freight will be sure to
come back to us."
The father laughed, but his eyes were frowning a little as if
he suspected something irreverent under the respectful reply.
"You put it humorously, but there's sense in what you say. Why