|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
the Kabiri, were carrying them through the streets singing. These
monstrous flames advanced swaying gently; they transmitted fires to
the glass balls on the crests of the temples, to the ornaments of the
colossuses and the beaks of the ships, passed beyond the terraces and
formed suns as it were, which rolled through the town. They descended
the Acropolis. The gate of Malqua opened.
"Are you ready?" exclaimed Schahabarim, "or have you asked them to
tell your father that you abandoned him?" She hid her face in her
veils, and the great lights retired, sinking gradually the while to
the edge of the waves.
An indeterminate dread restrained her; she was afraid of Moloch and of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Burning Daylight by Jack London:
unearthed. Often he turned his eyes to the northward ridge of
hills, and pondered if the gold came from them. In the end, he
ascended Dominion Creek to its head, crossed the divide, and came
down on the tributary to the Klondike that was later to be called
Hunker Creek. While on the divide, had he kept the big dome on
his right, he would have come down on the Gold Bottom, so named
by Bob Henderson, whom he would have found at work on it, taking
out the first pay-gold ever panned on the Klondike. Instead,
Daylight continued down Hunker to the Klondike, and on to the
summer fishing camp of the Indians on the Yukon.
Here for a day he camped with Carmack, a squaw-man, and his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from When a Man Marries by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
Get Flannigan, Officer Timothy Flannigan. He's your man.'"
My heart had been going lower and lower. So he knew Bella, and he
knew I was not Bella, although he had not grasped the fact that I
was usurping her place. The odious Harbison man sat on the table
and swung his feet.
"I wonder if you know," he said, looking around him, "how good it
is to see a white woman so perfectly at home in a civilized
kitchen again, after two years of food cooked by a filthy Indian
squaw over a portable sheet-iron stove!"
SO PERFECTLY AT HOME? I stood in the middle of the room and
stared around at the copper things hanging up and the rows of
|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 Gambara by Honore de Balzac:
women present understood it well; each saw herself seized and snatched
away on the stage. That part alone would suffice to make the fortune
of the opera. Every woman felt herself engaged in a struggle with some
violent lover. Never was music so passionate and so dramatic.
"The whole world now rises in arms against the reprobate. This
/finale/ may be criticised for its resemblance to that of /Don
Giovanni/; but there is this immense difference: in Isabella we have
the expression of the noblest faith, a true love that will save
Robert, for he scornfully rejects the infernal powers bestowed on him,
while Don Giovanni persists in his unbelief. Moreover, that particular
fault is common to every composer who has written a /finale/ since