|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
the sky kindles with a lurid brightness! All elements are but one
pervading flame! Ha! The fiend!"
I was somewhat startled by this latter exclamation. The tales
were almost consumed, but just then threw forth a broad sheet of
fire, which flickered as with laughter, making the whole room
dance in its brightness, and then roared portentously up the
"You saw him? You must have seen him!" cried Oberon. "How he
glared at me and laughed, in that last sheet of flame, with just
the features that I imagined for him! Well! The tales are gone."
The papers were indeed reduced to a heap of black cinders, with a
The Snow Image
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:
at his beard;" the troth that is plighted in blood is apt to end in
"A vain superstition to which I cannot consent," interrupted my father.
"Perhaps so," I answered. "I know not; God alone knows. I only know
that we plighted our troth when we thought ourselves about to die, and
that we shall keep that troth till death ends it."
"Yes, my father," added Marie, leaning forward across the scored
yellow-wood table, her chin resting on her hand and her dark, buck-like
eyes looking him in the face. "Yes, my father, that is so, as I have
told you already."
"And I tell you, Marie, what I have told you already, and you too,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Iliad by Homer:
right shoulder, and it screamed aloud as it lay, groaning in the
dust until the life went out of it. The other two horses began to
plunge; the pole of the chariot cracked and they got entangled in
the reins through the fall of the horse that was yoked along with
them; but Automedon knew what to do; without the loss of a moment
he drew the keen blade that hung by his sturdy thigh and cut the
third horse adrift; whereon the other two righted themselves, and
pulling hard at the reins again went together into battle.
Sarpedon now took a second aim at Patroclus, and again missed
him, the point of the spear passed over his left shoulder without
hitting him. Patroclus then aimed in his turn, and the spear sped
|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 Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
financial concern, and he may be of use to you.--So you have been
waked from a sweet dream."
"I have lost a fortune, a wife, and--"
"And a mistress," said Madame Schontz, smiling. "Here you are, more
than married; you will be insufferable, you will be always wanting to
get home, there will be nothing loose about you, neither your clothes
nor your habits. And, after all, my Arthur does things in style. I
will be faithful to him and cut Malaga's acquaintance.
"Let me peep at her through the door--your Sancerre Muse," she went
on. "Is there no finer bird than that to be found in the desert?" she
exclaimed. "You are cheated! She is dignified, lean, lachrymose; she
The Muse of the Department