|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Seraphita by Honore de Balzac:
men see in such marbles a human figure and nothing more; a few other
men, a little higher in the scale of being, perceive a fraction of the
thoughts expressed in the statue; but the Initiates in the secrets of
art are of the same intellect as the sculptor; they see in his work
the whole universe of his thought. Such persons are in themselves the
principles of art; they bear within them a mirror which reflects
nature in her slightest manifestations. Well! so it is with me; I have
within me a mirror before which the moral nature, with its causes and
effects, appears and is reflected. Entering thus into the
consciousness of others I am able to divine both the future and the
past. How? do you still ask how? Imagine that the marble statue is the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
and held Newman off at arms'-length. "I look at you with respect!"
he exclaimed. "You have achieved what we call a personal success!
Immediately, now, I must present you to my brother."
"Whenever you please!" said Newman.
Newman continued to see his friends the Tristrams with a good deal
of frequency, though if you had listened to Mrs. Tristram's account
of the matter you would have supposed that they had been cynically
repudiated for the sake of grander acquaintance. "We were all
very well so long as we had no rivals--we were better than nothing.
But now that you have become the fashion, and have your pick every
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:
made such an appeal would have been from the individualist point of
view bad enough, but what excuse can there ever be put forward for
having made it? Of course once I had put into motion the forces of
society, society turned on me and said, 'Have you been living all
this time in defiance of my laws, and do you now appeal to those
laws for protection? You shall have those laws exercised to the
full. You shall abide by what you have appealed to.' The result
is I am in gaol. Certainly no man ever fell so ignobly, and by
such ignoble instruments, as I did.
The Philistine element in life is not the failure to understand
art. Charming people, such as fishermen, shepherds, ploughboys,
|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 All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare:
Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go:
The king has done you wrong: but, hush, 'tis so.
SCENE 4. The same. Another room in the same.
[Enter HELENA and CLOWN.]
My mother greets me kindly: is she well?
She is not well, but yet she has her health: she's very
merry, but yet she is not well: but thanks be given, she's very
well, and wants nothing i' the world; but yet she is not well.