|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
among the deeds relating to the estate of Negrepelisse and the packets
At this solemn moment the Marquis spoke without hesitation or any of
the repetition habitual with him; but it is a matter of common
observation that persons who, in ordinary life, are afflicted with
these two defects, are freed from them as soon as any passionate
emotion underlies their speech.
"The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was decreed," he went on. "You
are no doubt aware, monsieur, that this was an opportunity for many
favorites to make their fortunes. Louis XIV. bestowed on the magnates
about his Court the confiscated lands of those Protestant families who
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from American Notes by Rudyard Kipling:
a lake fifty miles long and thirty broad.
There are the makings of a very fine creed about Mormonism. To
begin with, the Church is rather more absolute than that of Rome.
Drop the polygamy plank in the platform, but on the other hand
deal lightly with certain forms of excess; keep the quality of
the recruit down to the low mental level, and see that the best
of all the agricultural science available is in the hands of the
elders, and there you have a first-class engine for pioneer work.
The tawdry mysticism and the borrowing from Freemasonry serve the
low caste Swede and Dane, the Welshman and the Cornish cotter,
just as well as a highly organized heaven.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy:
dull wits cannot accompany you there."
Once again he attempted to go, once more her voice, sweet,
childlike, almost tender, called him back.
"Your servant, Madame."
"Is it possible that love can die?" she said with sudden,
unreasoning vehemence. "Methought that the passion which you once
felt for me would outlast the span of human life. Is there nothing
left of that love, Percy. . .which might help you. . .to bridge over
that sad estrangement?"
His massive figure seemed, while she spoke thus to him, to
The Scarlet Pimpernel
|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 Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:
of gold, prostrate seraphs swinging their fragrant censers, and the
archangels leaning on the flaming swords with which they have
vanquished the heathen?
"The secret of this music and its refreshing effect on the soul is, I
believe, that of a very few works of human genius: it carries us for
the moment into the infinite; we feel it within us; we see it, in
those melodies as boundless as the hymns sung round the throne of God.
Rossini's genius carries us up to prodigious heights, whence we look
down on a promised land, and our eyes, charmed by heavenly light, gaze
into limitless space. Elcia's last strain, having almost recovered
from her grief, brings a feeling of earth-born passions into this hymn